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Malayan Night Heron

Gorsachius melanolophus


The Malayan Night Heron stands about 47cm tall. It is nocturnal and is found in forests. Adults have black crowns, and are reddish-brown overall, with dark reddish-brown underparts with fine streaks, and black underwings. The adults also have blue lores on the face, which can vary in colour after moulting. The sexes are similar, though males may have a darker crest and some birds, especially females, may retain juvenile plumage. The juvenile is greyish-brown with black and white spots, and its underparts are streaked.


This species is often found near water, and are also common in urban parks. The Malayan Night Heron feeds mostly on earthworms and frogs, and more rarely on fish and lizards. The heron often hunts giant earthworms, tugging it out of the ground and shaking it to bite the head off before eating it. It also undulates its throat while swallowing the worm. When threatened, the Malayan Night Heron will raise its crest. The female Malayan Night Heron lays 3-5 eggs and does most of the incubation. Both parents feed the young. Third-party birds may sometimes attempt to help raise the young, but are often chased away by the parent birds. Some parent birds have been known to have immature plumage; most of these appear to be females. Widespread throughout its large range, the Malayan Night Heron is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Spotted by

新北市 (New Taipei City), 台北市 (Taipei City), Taiwan

Spotted on May 14, 2008
Submitted on Jun 23, 2011

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