Birds, Fine Art Prints

- Art Gallery -

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Ordo: Pelecaniformes

Familia: Ardeidae
Subfamilia: Nycticoracinae
Genus: Nycticorax
Species: N. caledonicus – N. nycticorax

Species extinctae: †N. duboisi – †N. mauritianus – †N. megacephalus – †N. olsoni

Nycticorax T. Forster, 1817

Nycticorax infaustus T. Forster, 1817, = Ardea nycticorax Linnaeus, 1758, = Nycticorax nycticorax

A synoptical catalogue of British birds: 59.

Vernacular names
azərbaycanca: Qarıldaq
беларуская: Кваквы
English: Night Herons
español: Martinete
فارسی: حواصیل شب
suomi: Yöhaikarat
עברית: אנפת לילה
italiano: Nitticora
қазақша: Бақылдақтар туысы
한국어: 해오라기속
latviešu: Nakts gārņi

Nycticorax is a genus of night herons. The name Nycticorax means "night raven" and derives from the Ancient Greek νύκτος, nuktos "night" and κοραξ, korax, "raven". It refers to the largely nocturnal feeding habits of this group of birds, and the croaking crow-like call of the best known species, the black-crowned night heron.[1]

These are medium-sized herons which often are migratory in the colder parts of their ranges.

Adults are short-necked, relatively short-legged and stout herons; the two extant species both have a black crown and a whitish belly, while the wings, chest, neck and auriculars are grey or rufous depending on the species. Young birds are brown, flecked with white and grey, and are quite similar to each other in the extant species. At least some of the extinct Mascarenes taxa appear to have retained this juvenile plumage in adult birds.

Night herons nest in colonies on platforms of sticks in a group of trees, or on the ground in protected locations such as islands or reed beds. Three to eight eggs are laid.

They stand at the water's edge, and wait to ambush prey, mainly at night. They primarily eat small fish, crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects, and small mammals. During the day they rest in trees or bushes.
Stuffed night heron in the American Museum of Natural History

In addition to the species listed below, the night herons of the genera Nyctanassa and Gorsachius were formerly placed in Nycticorax, but today all major authorities consider them separate.

Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
Rodrigues night heron, Nycticorax megacephalus (extinct)
Réunion night heron, Nycticorax duboisi (extinct)
Mauritius night heron, Nycticorax mauritianus (extinct)
Ascension night heron, Nycticorax olsoni (extinct)
Niue night heron, Nycticorax kalavikai (prehistoric)[2]
ʻEua night heron, Nycticorax sp. (prehistoric)
Lifuka night heron, Nycticorax sp. (prehistoric) - may be same as ʻEua species
Nankeen night heron or rufous night heron, Nycticorax caledonicus
Bonin nankeen night heron, Nycticorax caledonicus crassirostris (extinct, c. 1890)

In addition, the following taxa are known from fossil bones:

Nycticorax sp. (Early Oligocene of Fayyum, Egypt) (fossil)
Nycticorax[verification needed][3] fidens (Late Miocene of McGehee Farm, US) (fossil)


Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 277. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Steadman, David W.; Worthy, Trevor H.; Anderson, Atholl J. & Walter, Richard. (2000-06-01). "New species and records of birds from prehistoric sites on Niue, southwest Pacific". Wilson Bulletin. 112 (2): 165–186. doi:10.1676/0043-5643(2000)112[0165:NSAROB]2.0.CO;2. Archived from the original on 2007-05-24.(subscription required)
"Nycticorax nycticorax". Encyclopedia of Life. Archived from the original on 2015-03-04.

Birds Images

Biology Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Home - Hellenica World