Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

OTHER NAMES: Night Heron
Latin Etymology: Nycticorax ("night raven") nycticorax ("night raven")
Adult Black-crowned Night Heron (subspecies N. n. nycticorax) at Kyoto, Japan - July 2013

Local Name (Japan): Goi sagi (ゴイサギ) - "Bittern Heron"
Local Name (Malay): Pucung Kuak ("Croak Heron")
Local Name (Spain): Martinete
Featured Subspecies: Nycticorax nycticorax nycticorax
Weight: 800g
Length: 64cm
Wingspan: 112cm
NO UK STATUS  / IUCN Red List Least Concern

The Black-Crowned Night Heron is a medium sized heron with a huge international range, spreading down the entire length of the Americas, and across Eurasia from Iberia to Japan, and from the Nile to South Africa making it one of the most widely distributed species on the planet.  Despite all this, it isn't found in the UK except as a vagrant except for a few feral colonies.  I saw this species in good numbers during my Kyoto trip - this one was showing very well along the Kamo River, and I saw a colony nesting on the edge of Osaka Zoo from the train.  In Europe I saw this species once - a brown juvenile flying along the river beneath Toledo.

Related Species:
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Nycticorax
Subspecies: N. n. nycticorax, N. n. hoactli, N. n. obscurus, N. n. falklandicus

 - Sighting Locations -
JAPAN - Locally common resident.
 - KYOTO/OSAKA 2013 TRIP: Common along the river in Kyoto, a colony seen from the train in Osaka 
MALAYSIA - Fairly common resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Several seen in flyover around Kuala Lumpur
SPAIN - Fairly common resident.
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: A single juvenile seen at Toledo
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: A single adult seen at Laguna Navaseca

Further Notes: ArkiveBirdforum OpusBirdGuides, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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