Night Heron (Black-crowned Night Heron) Nycticorax nycticorax

Rare visitor to the UK from Continental Europe, although some local records originate from a free-flying "captive" population at Great Witchingham Wildlife Park. One of the photos below is a vagrant bird at Titchwell; the photos from Africa involve birds that belong to the same nominate race as birds in Europe.

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Night Heron, Liwonde National Park (Malawi), 24th September 2008

 

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second-summer Night Heron, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 22nd May 2002

 

Night Heron, Camargue (Bouche-du-Rhone, France), 25th May 2000

 

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Night Herons, Birecik (Turkey), 14th May 2010

 

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Night Heron, Ebro Delta (Cataluña, Spain), 20th May 2013

 

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Night Heron, Liwonde National Park (Malawi), 27th May 2011

 

The species also occurs in North America where it's known as Black-crowned Night Heron (race hoactli). They appear very similar to European and African birds although the adult has a shorter white stripe over the eye and the bare parts colours are a bit different in breeding condition. This form could potentially occur over here as a vagrant, but I don't think there are any confirmed records yet.

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adult Black-crowned Night Heron (race hoactli), Tamiami Trail Loop Road (Florida, USA), 14th April 2013

 

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adult Black-crowned Night Heron (race hoactli), Loxahatchee (Florida, USA), 26th April 2013

 

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adult Black-crowned Night Heron (race hoactli), Famosa Slough (California, USA), 19th April 2005

 

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first-summer? Black-crowned Night Heron (race hoactli), Famosa Slough (California, USA), 19th April 2005

 

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juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron (race hoactli), Famosa Slough (California, USA), 19th April 2005

 

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adult Black-crowned Night Heron (race hoactli), Ramer Lake (California, USA), 22nd April 2005

 

adult Black-crowned Night Heron (race hoactli), Famosa Slough (California, USA), 19th April 2005

 

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immature Black-crowned Night Herons (race hoactli), Tamiami Trail Loop Road (Florida, USA), 14th April 2013

 

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immature Black-crowned Night Heron (race hoactli), Anhinga Trail, Everglades (Florida, USA), 18th April 2013