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Photographer's Note

Black-crowned night-herons do not fit the typical body form of the heron family. They are relatively stocky and about 25 inches tall (63 cm) with shorter bills, legs, and necks than their more familiar cousins the egrets and "day" herons. Their resting posture is normally somewhat hunched but when hunting they extend their necks and look more like other wading birds.

Adult black-crowned night-herons have black caps and backs, pale gray wings, white underparts, red eyes, and yellow legs. Two or three long white plumes, erected in greeting and courtship displays, extend from the back of the head. The sexes are similar in appearance although the males are slightly larger. Immature birds have dull gray-brown plumage on their heads, wings, and backs, with numerous pale spots. Their underparts are paler and streaked with brown. The young birds have orange eyes and duller yellowish-green legs. They are very noisy birds in their nesting colonies, with calls that are commonly transcribed as quok or woc, woc.

This bird was strolling in search of small fish at the pond of Taipei Botanical Garden.

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Additional Photos by Chian Sing Lai (kim_gwan) Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 88] (416)
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