Black-crowned Night Heron

Scientific Name: Nycticorax nycticorax

Malay Name: Pucung-Kuak Biasa

Chinese Name: 夜鹭

Range: Found worldwide except Australia and Antarctica with most northerly populations wintering south

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: nycticorax, hoactli, obscurus, falklandicus.

Local Subspecies: nycticorax

Size: 58-65 cm

Identification: Non-breeding adult has greyish-white overall plumage with contrasting black crown, mantle and scapulars, yellow legs/feet, whitish nape-plumes and mostly blackish bill. Breeding adult has glossed bluish-green mantle/scapulars and reddish legs. Juvenile is duller brown overall with white-spotted upperparts and streaked crown, head-sides and underparts.

Similar looking species: Striated Heron

Habitat: Marshes, mangroves and waterbodies near parks/gardens.

Behaviour/Ecology: Highly gregarious and mostly seen at dawn and dusk.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Sungei Buloh, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Pasir Ris Park, Lorong Halus, West Coast Park, Jurong Eco Garden, Jurong Lake Park and any suitable patch of habitat.

Featured articles:


BirdLife International. (2019). Nycticorax nycticorax. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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