Night Heron

Night Heron, Kwak, Nachtreiher, Socó-taquari, Martinete Común

Spotted in the Alentejo region of Portugal.                                    Night Heron sound

The night herons are medium-sized herons in the genera Nycticorax, Nyctanassa and Gorsachius. The genus name Nycticorax derives from the Greek for “night raven” and refers to the largely nocturnal feeding habits of this group of birds, and the croaking crow-like call of the best known species, the Black-crowned Night Heron. 

Night Heron Birding Portugal
Night Heron

More photos at the bottom of this page:

In Europe, Night Heron is often used to refer to the Black-crowned Night Heron, since it is the only member of the genus in that continent.

Adults are short-necked, short-legged and stout herons with a primarily brown or grey plumage, and, in most, a black crown. Young birds are brown, flecked with white. At least some of the extinct Mascarenes taxa appear to have retained this juvenile plumage in adult birds.

Night herons nest alone or in colonies on platforms of sticks in a group of trees, or on the ground in protected locations such as islands or reedbeds. 3-8 eggs are laid.

Night herons stand still at the water’s edge, and wait to ambush prey, mainly at night. They primarily eat small fish, crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects, and small mammals. During the day they rest in trees or bushes.

There are seven extant species. The genus Nycticorax has suffered more than any other ciconiiform genus from extinction, mainly because of their capability to colonize small, predator-free oceanic islands, and a tendency to evolve towards flightlessness.

Night Heron Birding Portugal
Night Heron
Night Heron Birding Portugal
Night Heron
Night Heron Birding Portugal
Night Heron
Night Heron Birding Portugal
Night Heron
Night Heron Birding Portugal
Night Heron

Other synonyms:

Afrikaans: Gewone Nagreier
Asturian: Garcina de Nueche, Garcina de Nuechi
Breton: Ar gerc’heiz kein du
Catalan: Martinet de nit, Orval
Catalan (Balears): Orval
Czech: Kvakoš nocní, kvakoš noèní
Welsh: Crëyr y nos
Danish: Nathejre
German: Nachtreiher
English: American night Heron, Black-capped Night Heron, Black-capped Night-Heron, Blackcrowned Night Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Common Night Heron, Night Heron, Night-heron, Qua Bird, Quawk
Esperanto: Noktardeo
Spanish: Garza bruja, Garza nocturna corona negra, Garza Nocturna Coroninegra, Garza-nocturna Coroninegra, Guaco Común, Guanabá de la Florida, Huairavo, Huairavo del Norte, Martinete, Martinete Capinegro, Martinete Comun, Martinete Común, Martinete coroninegro, Pedrete Corona Negra, pedrete corona-negra, Rey Congo Cabeza Negra, Yaboa Real
Spanish (Argentine): Garza bruja
Spanish (Chile): Huairavo
Spanish (Colombia): Guaco Común
Spanish (Costa Rica): Martinete Coroninegro
Spanish (Cuba): Guanabá de la Florida
Spanish (Dominican Rep.): Garza Nocturna Coroninegra, Rey Congo, Rey Congo Cabeza Negra
Spanish (Honduras): Garza nocturna corona negra
Spanish (Mexico): Garza-nocturna Coroninegra, pedrete corona negra, pedrete corona-negra
Spanish (Nicaragua): Martinete Capinegro
Spanish (Paraguay): Garza bruja
Spanish (Uruguay): Garza bruja
Spanish (Venezuela): Guaco
Estonian: Ööhaigur
Basque: Amiltxori arrunta, Martinet de nit
Finnish: Yöhaikara
Faroese: Nátthegri
French: Bihoreau à couronne noir, Bihoreau à couronne noire, Bihoreau gris, Héron bihoreau, Héron bihoreau à calotte noire
Irish: Corr Oíche
Guadeloupean Creole French: Crabier bois, Crabier grosse tête
Galician: Garza da noite, Martinet de nit
Guarani: Tajasu guyra
Haitian Creole French: Kòk lannwit kouwòn nwa
Hawaiian: ‘Auku’u
Hindi: Vakka
Croatian: Gak
Hungarian: Bakcsó
Indonesian: Kowak, Kowakmalam Abu
Icelandic: Nátthegri
Italian: Nitticora, Nitticora comune
Japanese: goisagi, Goi-sagi
Cornish: Kerghyth nos
Kwangali: Hakaruu Gomasiku
Latin: Nycticorax nycticorax
Lithuanian: Naktikovas, Naktikovis
Malagasy: Doaka, Goadrano, Goaka, Koaka, Rahoaka
Mamasa: dakko-dakko
Malay: Pucong Kuak, Pucung Kuak
Maltese: Kwakka
Dutch: Kwak
Norwegian: Natthegre
Polish: slepowron, ?lepowron, ?lepowron (zwyczajny), ?lepowron zwyczajny
Portuguese: arapapá-de-bico-comprido, dorminhoco, garça-cinzenta, Garca-dorii-iinhoca, garça-dorminhoca, Garça-nocturna, Goraz, guacuré, guacuru, guarucu, savacu, socó, socó-dorminhoco, socó-galinha, Socó-taquari, taiassu, tajaçu, taquari, taquiri
Portuguese (Brazil): arapapá-de-bico-comprido, dorminhoco, garça-cinzenta, garça-dorminhoca, guacuré, guacuru, guarucu, Savacu, socó, socó-dorminhoco, socó-galinha, socó-taquari, taiassu, tajaçu, taquari, taquiri
Romansh: Irun stgarvunà
Slovenian: kvakac
Albanian: Çapka e natës
Serbian: gak, Nocna caplja, Nocna caplja, gak
Sotho, Southern: Kokolofitoe
Swedish: Natthäger
Swahili: Kingoyo Utosi-weusi
Zulu: uSiba


Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders to see birds on your trip. Guided Birdwatching Tours and Trips.

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