Nankeen Night-Heron (species: Nycticorax caledonicus) in taxonomy (Gaia Guide)
Nycticorax caledonicus
Nankeen Night-Heron

©Charlie: Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)

©Leo: Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) in breeding plumage

©Leo: Juvenile Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Ciconiiformes
Family Ardeidae
Genus Nycticorax
Species Nycticorax caledonicus
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

It has a stooped hunched-over appearance.  The upperparts and wings are rufous brown and the underparts are white.  The crown of its head is black.  The bill is also black. The legs and feet are yellow.

In breeding plumage it also has two white plumes flowing backward from the top of its head.


  • Up to 60 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution: Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)

Distribution and habitat preferences

It is found throughout much of Australia except the arid inland, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Melanesia. A small colony has also established near Wanganui, New Zealand.

It can be seen around freshwater rivers, lakes, bulrushes, estuaries, harbors and in residential fishponds. (Wikipedia)


It feeds nocturnally.


The bird is dependent on a diet of small fish, reptiles, insects and sometimes eggs.

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