Nankeen night heron

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Nankeen night heron
Nycticorax caledonicus - Sydney Olympic Park.jpg
Nankeen night heron, Sydney, New South Wales
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Nycticorax
N. caledonicus
Binomial name
Nycticorax caledonicus
Gmelin, 1789
  • N. c. caledonicus (Gmelin, 1789)
    New Caledonian nankeen night heron
  • N. c. manillensis Vigors, 1831
    Celebes Sea nankeen night heron
  • N. c. crassirostris Vigors, 1839
    Bonin nankeen night heron (extinct)
  • N. c. mandibularis Ogilvie-Grant, 1888
    Solomon nankeen night heron
  • N. c. hilli Mathews, 1912
    Common nankeen night heron
  • N. c. pelewensis Mathews, 1926
    Micronesian nankeen night heron
  • Ardea caledonica
    Gmelin, 1789

The nankeen night heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) also commonly referred to as the rufous night heron, and in Melanesia as melabaob, is a medium-sized heron. It is found in Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, and throughout much of Australia except the arid inland. A small colony has also established near Wanganui, New Zealand.


The nankeen night heron stands about 60 cm tall with a stooped appearance, it is not strictly nocturnal. It often feeds during the day, especially during wet weather; the bird is dependent on a diet of small fish, reptiles, insects and sometimes eggs. It can be seen around freshwater rivers, lakes, bulrushes, estuaries, harbors and in residential fishponds for goldfish.



The species breeds in the period from September to April, building a nest platform out of sticks, it nests communally, near water. Two to five light green eggs are laid, with a 22-day incubation followed by a 42- to 49-day fledging period.

Widespread throughout its large range, the nankeen night heron is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Various views and plumages[edit]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Nycticorax caledonicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

External links[edit]