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Black-crowned Night Heron
Scientific name : Nycticorax nycticorax
Family : Ardeidae
L de 58 à 65 cm, E de 115 à 118 cm
The Black-crowned Night Heron is a stocky bird with a large head, a thick neck, and short legs. Adult has black cap and coat. Wings, rump and tail are gray, and whitish underparts. The legs and feet are greenish yellow. Night Heron is not of their adult plumage until their third year. In breeding season, the adult has two long white feathers on the neck.
A bird that lives a rather nocturnal. The Black-crowned Night Heron lives near wetlands, swamps, marshes, lakes and rivers bordered by dense vegetation.
Night heron's diet consists mainly of fish, and aquatic and terrestrial insects. He waits, absolutely still, it catches its prey by relaxing the neck and suddenly swallowed after stunned. It sometimes vibrates its beak into the water to lure prey, fish or amphibian, but night-herons also eat insects, worms, reptiles, rodents.
Mating, legs turn pink, and two or three white feathers adorn the neck, down onto the back. The night heron nests in colonies often with species in the trees. The male builds the nest rather summary based on twigs, grass roots and the female weaves. Spawning takes place a few days after mating, usually once a year, 3-5 eggs incubated alternately by the couple during the incubation period lasts from 24 to 26 days.
The Night Heron has full protection on French territory since the Ministerial Decree of 17 April 1981 relating to protected birds on the entire territory. It is listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive of the European Union.