Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) along the Mahaicony River, Guyana. (Photo by Kester Clarke/

The Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) lives in fresh and salt-water wetlands throughout much of the world; North and South America from Canada as far south as northern Argentina and Chile, in the Falkland Islands, Europe, Asia and Africa.

They have a black crown and back with the remainder of the body white or grey, red eyes, and short yellow legs. They also have pale grey wings and white under parts. The sexes are similar in appearance although the males are slightly larger.

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.

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