Black-crowned Night-Heron ( Nycticorax nycticorax, family: Ardeidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Black-crowned Night Heron

black crowned night heron kruger national park birds The Black-crowned Night-Heron (Latin name Nycticorax nycticorax) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 76 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 597 also a picture of the Black-crowned Night-Heron on page 577. The Black-crowned Night-Heron belongs to the family of birds classified as Ardeidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Black-crowned Night-Heron is also known by these other names: Night Heron.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Black-crowned Night-Heron was called the Black-crowned Night Heron

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Black-crowned Night-Heron is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Black-crowned Night-Heron in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Black-crowned Night-Heron : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Black-crowned Night-Heron is a largish bird about the same size as a Pied Crow. The height of the Black-crowned Night-Heron is about 56 cms and its weight is about 680 gms

The male and female Black-crowned Night-Heron have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is black, white.
  • Eye is orange.
  • Bill is yellow.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is brown, black.
  • Legs are yellow.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Black-crowned Night-Heron feeds on the ground and in or around water mainly

Other Birds

Smaller animals


Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Black-crowned Night-Heron is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Nycticorax nycticorax will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Black-crowned Night-Heron is to create the nest on water. The bird lays eggs which are blue, green in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Black-crowned Night-Heron are: wetlands

You will normally see the Black-crowned Night-Heron by itself rather than in the company of birds of the same species.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... uSiba

Afrikaans ...Gewone Nagreier

German ... Nachtreiher

Portuguese ... Gara-nocturna

French ... Bihoreau gris

Dutch ... Kwak

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 76

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,