Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron is a fascinating bird that most people know very little about. This unique species of heron has many interesting features and behaviors that make it stand out from other birds in its family.

Basic Description

The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea) is a medium-sized bird with a stocky build, measuring approximately 65 cm in length and weighing up to 1 kg. It has a distinct appearance, with black feathers on its back and wings, white coloring on its face and neck, and a bright yellow crown on top of its head. Its legs are pinkish-gray in color, while the bill is long and pointed.

Where To Find This Bird

The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron can be found throughout the Americas, ranging from the southern United States all the way down to Argentina. It prefers wetland habitats near bodies of water such as ponds or marshes but can also be seen perched atop trees or along shorelines.


These birds prefer subtropical climates where they can find plenty of shallow freshwater habitats for feeding purposes. They are commonly found near wooded swamps, mangroves or small ponds located within city parks or gardens.


Yellow-crowned Night-herons primarily feed on fish such as minnows or frogs but may also consume other aquatic creatures like crabs or shrimp if available. Their hunting style involves standing still at the water’s edge before striking quickly with their sharp bills to catch prey.

Cool Facts

One interesting feature about this bird is that it has been known to use bait when fishing! Specifically speaking they have been observed dropping small objects into shallow waters just to attract prey towards them.
Additionally, these birds nest communally much like other heron species, with multiple nests located within the same tree, often as close as 2 meters apart.
Another interesting fact is that this species of bird has a unique method of camouflage. When threatened they will stand on one leg and stretch their wings, flattening their feathers against their body to appear thinner and less noticeable.

Overall, the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron is an interesting bird with many fascinating characteristics that make it stand out from other birds in its family. Its distinct features and behaviors are sure to capture the attention of anyone who takes the time to observe it in nature.