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Night Heron

Indian Night herons are mainly found in the tropical ranges. Read on to get information

Night heron belongs to the Nycticorax and Gorsachius genera. It is a medium sized bird, which is mainly found in the tropical regions of the Indian subcontinent. The name 'Night Heron' is derived on thebasis of the fact that these birds prefer to catch their prey during night.
Physical Traits
Night herons have a body coat of either white or gray color. The only exceptions to this are their crown and back, which are pretty dark in color. Adult Night herons have short necks and short legs. The young oneshave a coat that is brown in color and is dotted with white and gray. Infact, the young night herons look quite similar to Nycticorax species.
Behavior
Night heron bird of India nests in colonies, built upon platforms of sticks. The nests are situated mostly in a group of trees. In case of protected locations such as islands orreed beds, night herons may build nests on the ground. During daytime, they are seen resting in trees or in bushes. Night herons usually lay 3 to 8 eggs at a time.
Diet
The diet of a night heron bird comprises of small fish, crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects and small mammals. They catch their prey by standing still at the water's edge. The moment any prey approaches, itis ambushed.
Status
Presently, Indian subcontinent has only seven subspecies of the night heron, which are existent. A numberof other subspecies of the bird have gone extinct because of its capabilityto colonize small, predator-free oceanic islands and a tendency to evolve towards flightlessness.
Subspecies of Night Heron
*.Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax violaceus or Nyctanassa violacea)
*.Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
*.White-backed Night Heron (Nycticorax leuconotus or Gorsachius leuconotus)
*.Nankeen Night Heron or Rufous Night Heron (Gorsachius caledonicus or Nycticorax caledonicus)
*.White-eared Night Heron (Gorsachius magnificus)
*.Japanese Night Heron (Gorsachius goisagi)
*.Malayan Night Heron (Gorsachius melanolophus)
Extinct Species of Night Heron
*.Bermuda Night Neron (Nycticorax carcinocatactes or Nyctanassa carcinocatactes)
*.Rodrigues Night Heron (Nycticorax megacephalus)
*.Réunion Night Heron (Nycticorax duboisi)
*.Mauritius Night Heron (Nycticorax mauritianus)
*.Ascension Night Heron (Nycticorax olsoni)
*.Bonin Nankeen Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus crassirostris)
Prehistoric Species of Night Heron
*.Niue Night Heron (Nycticorax kalavikai)
*.'Eua Night Heron (Nycticorax sp)
*.Lifuka Night Heron (Nycticorax sp)
Facts about Night Heron
Kingdom :Animalia
Class :Aves
Order :Ciconiiformes
Family :Ardeidae
Genus :Nycticorax
Genus :Gorsachius
Clutch Size :3 eggs to 8 eggs


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