Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Black-crowned Night Heron
Young birds are brown, with white and gray flecks
Breeds in south-central and south-eastern Canada and over much of the USA except the mountains of the west. Also occurs in the West Indies and from Mexico south to Panama and over most of South America except the higher Andes and Amazonia. Also breeds in the Falkland Islands and Hawaii. Northern birds are migratory and winter in south-west and south-east USA.
Colony of full-winged, but artificially fed, birds of the nominate race breeds ferally in Norfolk, England and there is a small number of free-flying birds of the North American race based around Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland. Neither of these populations is thought to wander any distance and attempts are underway to reduce the number of free-flying birds in the Scottish population.
There are also colonies in Belgium which are the descendants of released birds. A summer visitor to all but the south-east of the region where resident, overshooting spring migrants regularly seen in Britain (>500 records), usually May-June, more rarely north to Iceland and the Faroes, Norway, Finland, and Estonia. Also recorded on the Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verde Islands.
 Africa/Middle East
Widespread in sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal to Somalia and south to the Cape but breeding records are widely scattered. Also small numbers in North-West Africa, the Nile Delta and parts of the Middle East.
Four subspecies are recognised:
Wooded swamps, well-vegetated margins of lakes and rivers. On passage and in winter sometimes in more open habitats, including brackish lagoons and estuaries.
It builds a platform of sticks placed in tree or cattails and nests colonially; more than a dozen nests may be in a single tree. Clutch usually consists of 3-5 greenish eggs.
Listen in an external program
 External Links