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  Nycticorax nycticorax (Linnaeus, 1758)
  Family Name : Ardeidae

  Taxonomic Group : Vertebrates (Bird)

  Common Names : Black-crowned Night Heron

 
Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Description
    • Description :
      Crown and back black and contrast with grey wings and tail. Underparts white. Two long white plumes on nape. Eyebrow and lores whitish. Bill black. Legs and toes yellow. Eyes red. Juveniles have dark brown plumage with white spots on wings and upperparts and white streaks on head and underparts. Juvenile lacks spots on back.
  • Ecology, Habitat & Location
    • Ecological Notes :
      Occurs in both brackish and freshwater wetland habitats. Nocturnal feeder but immatures and non-breeding adults also feed during the day. Observations at the now defunct Khatib Bongsu colony showed that birds journey long distances to their feeding sites every dusk, returning to roost by dawn. Breeding activities recorded at this colony also showed that nesting is regular throughout the year with no visible peaks.
      Habitats :
      Freshwater, Mangroves
      Distribution :
      Occurs throughout the Singapore coastline but concentrated mostly in the less developed north and west, and the islands of Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong. The species is circumtropical in distribution.
      Nature Reserves :
      Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
      Nature Areas :
      Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin
  • Conservation
    • Trends & Threats :
      Destruction of disturbance of feeding and nesting sites is a potentially fatal threat to this species. For a species which needs large, often separate areas in which to feed, roost and nest, like most herons, more areas have to be set aside to supplement the only coastal wetland reserve at Sungei Buloh.
      Conservation Notes :
      Only one definitely known wild colony survives (circa 20-50 nesting birds) in the Jurong Lake area. Attempts should be made to protect this sole wild nesting colony from disturbance. In the past fifteen years, colonies in Khatib Bongsu, Pasir Ris and Sungei Buloh have all been abandoned. Although there is a colony in Jurong Bird Park, it is not certain that this is a wild colony as the Bird Park has kept a number of free-flying Night-herons. More extensive field surveys need to be conducted to ascertain the actual population of this species.
  • Status
    • Species Status :
      Resident
      Conservation Status :
      Uncommon
      Singapore Red Data Book 2008 status :
      Critically Endangered (CR)
  • References
    • Davison, G.W.H., Ng, P.K.L. & Ho, H.C (Eds.). 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book (2nd Edition). Singapore: Nature Society (Singapore). 285pp 
      Lim, K.S. & Gardner, D. 1997. Birds: An illustrated field guide to the birds of Singapore. Singapore: Sun Tree Publishing Limited. 226pp 
      Wang, L.K. & Hails, C.J. 2007. An annotated checklist of the birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement no. 15. 179pp 

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