Yellow-crowned night heron
|Yellow-crowned night heron|
|Yellow-crowned night heron at a pond in Tarpon Springs, Florida|
|Range of N. violacea Breeding range Year-round range Wintering range|
The yellow-crowned night heron (Nyctanassa violacea, formerly placed in the genus Nycticorax), also called the American night heron or squawk, is a fairly small heron. It is found throughout a large part of the Americas, especially (but not exclusively) in warmer coastal regions; an example occurrence is the Petenes mangroves of the Yucatan.
Adults are about 61 cm (24 in) long and weigh 625 g (22.0 oz). They have a white/yellow crown and back with the remainder of the body grayish, red eyes and short yellow/orange legs. They have a white stripe below the eye. Juveniles resemble young black-crowned night-herons, being mainly brown flecked with white or gray.
In warmer locations, some are permanent residents; others migrate to Central America and the West Indies. They may occasionally wander north to the lower Great Lakes or Ontario after the breeding season.
Their breeding habitat is swamps and marshes from the eastern United States to north-eastern South America. They often nest in colonies, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. They lay 3–5 pale blue-green eggs.
Referred to as gros bec (from the French meaning thick-billed), or commonly referred to as night heron, the birds were eaten as a form of game in Cajun cuisine. Poachers sometimes raided nests for the breast meat of young birds, a practice that could destroy an entire rookery. Ibis (bec croche) was also eaten. Killing these wild birds is now illegal.
- World Wildlife Fund. 2010. Petenes mangroves. eds. Mark McGinley, C.Michael Hogan & C. Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
- Stiles and Skutch. A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nyctanassa violacea.|
|Wikispecies has information related to: Nyctanassa violacea|
- Bermuda Online: Bermudian Fauna.
- Field Guide Page on Flickr
- Stamps at bird-stamps.org (with Range Map)
- Yellow-crowned night heron videos, photos, and sounds at the Internet Bird Collection
- Yellow-crowned night heron photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
- Yellow-crowned night heron species account at NeotropicalBirds (Cornell University)