Black-crowned Night Heron

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names

Night Heron

Native Habitat



Fish, Crustaceans, Frogs


Black-crowned Night Heron

Nycticorax nycticorax

The Black-crowned Night Heron is a medium-sized heron found throughout a large part of the world, except in the coldest regions and Australasia.

These are 65 cm long and weighs 800 gm. They have a black crown and back with the remainder of the body white or grey, red eyes, and short yellow legs. Young birds are brown, flecked with white and grey. These are short-necked and stout herons.

These birds stand still at the water's edge and wait to ambush prey, mainly at night or early morning. They primarily eat small fish, crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects, small mammals and small birds. During the day they rest in trees or bushes.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    নিশি বক
  • Bhojpuri:
    तार बकुला
  • Gujarati:
    અવાક, વાક
  • Kannada:
    ಇರುಳು ಬಕ, ನಿಶೆ ಬಕ, ರಾತ್ರಿ ಬಕ
  • Malayalam:
  • Marathi:
    रातबगळा, रात्रिंचर ढोकरी
  • Spanish:
    martinete común
  • Tamil:
    இராக்கொக்கு, கருந்தொப்பி இராக்கொக்கு
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Nycticorax nycticorax

Quick Facts
  • The scientific name of this bird means "night raven" and refers to its nocturnal habit and harsh crow-like call.