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Black-Crowned Night Heron

Heron perches on tree branch

This animal can be observed in CuriOdyssey's Walk-through Aviary.

Latin Name

Nycticorax nycticorax

History at CuriOdyssey

The first heron has a collapsed globe in his left eye and is blind in that eye. It has been at CuriOdyssey since 2003. The second heron sustained a wing injury and shoulder in the wild and was not releasable. It arrived in 2016. The third was captive hatched at the Salisbury Zo April 13, 2005. It was donated to CuriOdyssey in 2016.

Fun Facts about Herons

The Black-crowned Night Heron is an expert at “still fishing.”  It stands motionless for long periods in shallow water, on pilings at high tide and on floating docks watching and waiting for its prey. It catches small fish with a quick thrust of its bill into the water.

The scientific name Nycticorax means “night raven,” and refers to their nocturnal habits and raven-like call.

What do herons eat?

Heron's diet include fish, aquatic invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles, small mammals. At CuriOdyssey, they are served smelt, soaked kibble, hard-boiled egg, and meal-worms.

How long do herons live?

In the Wild: 5-10 years.
In Captivity: 10-17 years.

Where do herons live?

Black-crowned night herons can be found in freshwater habitats and brackish marshes. They range worldwide except Australia and the taiga and tundra belts. In the new world from southern Canada through South America.

Are Black-crowned Night Herons endangered?

They are protected under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act.

Adopt me!

Your contribution helps provide my food, toys, and medical care. I’ll stay at the museum, and you’ll get a photo of me and a certificate as reminders of your generosity. Check out our adoption section and see all of our adoption levels.


Help provide for the care and feeding of our wildlife
guests by sponsoring an animal of your choice for a year.

Join the CuriOdyssey Community


1651 Coyote Point Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401

[email protected]

CuriOdyssey is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Tax ID 94-1262434

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