Thursday, August 4, 2011

Black-Crowned Night Heron

Nycticorax nicticorax
Black-Crowned Night Herons can be found in parts of nearly every continent. They live in a variety of wetland areas where they can feed on anything and everything that they can catch up. This includes fish, worms, bird, frogs, and even carrion.

Black-Crowned Night herons use their  long bills to hunt in a technique called "bill vibrating." They place it in the water, mouth open, and then open and close very very quickly in fast succession. The disturbance that this act creates can help lure prey.

These birds are very social, and will even interact frequently with other species of Heron and waterbird. It is believed that pairs are monogamous, and they will lay as many as seven eggs at a time. One really interesting tidbit is that these birds do not really seem to care if chicks are actually from their own nest. Parents will raise and care for lost chicks that are not their own.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Worldwide
Size : Body Length 25in (60cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Ciconiiformes
Family : Ardeidae -- Genus : Nycticorax -- Species : N. nycticorax

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