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B83.Introducing the Black-crowned Night Heron, a master river hunter whose beauty reflects the elegance of the water.

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The black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), commonly known as the night heron, is a bird species belonging to the heron family.gbhLhEVNSGHb9m6DUFCDl2chWUUDgIRi1ueiyEQ7fo

General features: The black-crowned night heron has a relatively short neck compared to other heron species, and it possesses a short but robust bill. Its legs are also shorter in comparison to other heron species. Breeding adult males display a black crown with a greenish-blue tinge, and their back shares the same coloration. The wings are gray, while the belly and flanks are white. In the spring, 2-4 long, narrow white plumes grow from behind the head. The bill is black, and the legs are yellow or slightly pink, with long toes. Females exhibit similar coloring. Juvenile birds have dark brown plumage with streaks. Nestlings are covered in white down feathers.

Distribution:The black-crowned night heron is commonly found in most countries across North America, Africa, Southern and Central Europe, and Asia. European black-crowned night herons migrate and spend their winters in the equatorial regions of Africa. There are no native black-crowned night heron species in Australia. In Russia, a significant population of black-crowned night herons can be found nesting in the lowlands along the Volga River.

Life style:The black-crowned night heron primarily engages in its activities during the early morning and evening, while during the daytime, they often remain perched on branches without much movement. However, when it comes to nest-building, they are active during the daytime as well. They construct their nests in close proximity to densely vegetated water bodies on the fringes of forests or within forested areas.

Nycticorax nycticorax

Food:The black-crowned night heron primarily feeds on fish and frogs, as well as aquatic insects.

Voice:Its vocalization is a loud, deep call, often pronounced as “kuak,” typically heard during summer evenings. When facing danger, the bird emits a more urgent, cat-like “meow” sound.

Reproduction:Black-crowned night herons nest in colonies, either alongside other heron species or in their own groups, with numbers often reaching up to thousands of pairs perched on trees or dense shrubbery. If nesting locations are distant from human habitats, they may also build nests on reed beds. They construct their nests using small branches, where females lay 3-4 eggs. After an incubation period of 21 days, the chicks hatch, usually with 1-2 days between each egg’s hatching, in the order they were laid. Both parents participate in feeding the chicks, initially regurgitating partially digested food into their mouths. As the chicks grow, they are provided with regular meals.

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