The Black-crowned Night Heron is a small heron prevalent over much of Eurasia, Africa and the Americas.
The most northerly birds migrate south in winter. It is a scarce visitor to the UK.
It is active mainly at night/dawn but also sometimes in the day. Its scientific name means night raven from its raven-like call.
The short neck is white at the back when stretched out, showing the black crown and the black "saddle". Eyes are ruby-red.
Male and female have similar plumage with an iridescent black back bordered with grey, white nape plumes and yellow legs/feet which turn pink in the breeding season.
Juveniles are dark brown with streaks and white spots and have grey then yellow eyes.
First year juvenile showing typical heron-like flight
Night Herons in flight