Medium-sized, stocky heron with long legs and moderately long, thick neck. Thick, short but pointy dark bill. Alternate-plumaged adult: black head with white crown and broad sub-ocular stripe, long forehead and occipital plumes and a red eye. Dusky greenish lores. Grayish neck and body. Back appears streaked with black. Pinkish legs. Basic-plumage adult: similar to breeding, but yellow legs, fewer plumes. First Year: Dark brown cap. Red eye. Brownish face with fine pale streaks. Brown neck with narrow pale streaking. Brown wings. Grayish belly with coarse brown streaks. Yellow-green legs. Compare to juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron, which has thinner, yellowish bill, paler brown plumage overall and shorter, thicker neck.
Length: 61 (cm) Wingspan: 107 (cm)
Harsh, flat squawk.
Preferably well vegetated or forested marshes and swamps, mudflats, wooded streams and riversides.
Usually forages, roosts and nests solitary or in pairs. Active day and night, but preferably in late evening, night-time or early evening. Forages by standing still and waiting for prey to come within reach, or slowly stalking prey in shallow water.
Diet consists of fish, crabs, frogs/tadpoles, eels, small snakes, snails, aquatic insects, crustaceans and mussels.
Expanded Life History
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