Malayan Night Heron catches an earthworm II

An earlier post reports the sighting of the Malayan Night Heron (Gorsachius melanolophus), also known as Malaysian Night Heron, in Singapore recently. It was observed picking up an earthworm.

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Dr Jonathan WK Cheah observed and documented a juvenile stalking its prey, pulling the earthworm from its burrow and expertly manipulating the wriggling worm into its mouth (above, below left).

The Malayan Night Heron is medium-sized, standing about 47cm tall. It is nocturnal and found in forests. The juvenile is greyish-brown with black and white spots, and its underparts are streaked. The adult has a black crown, reddish-brown face and neck, dark reddish-brown underparts with fine streaks and black wings. The adult is extremely skittish, photographed at a different location (Bidadari) on the 24th November 2009 (above right).

The heron is distributed in south, east and southeast Asia, breeding in India, China and the Philippines. Widespread throughout its large range, it is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


4 Responses

  1. Spotted a juvenile Malayan Night Heron at SBG Ginger Garden (the forested patch behind the waterfall) on 14 Dec 2009 around 2:40 pm. It was foraging and saw it hunted a long earth worm from the ground.

  2. Wow. Sighted in 3 different locations – West, East & now Central of Singapore.

    Is this still considered as a rare winter visitor and passage migrant? Seems not so rare afterall.

  3. Earlier posts reported that there are more juvenile tiger shrikes arriving than adults.

    Interesting that the malayan night heron’s arrival pattern looks similar:- more juveniles than adults.

  4. I was in Singpore last week, and visited SBG, I saw Hooded Pitta, Orange-headed Thrush and Oriental Pied Hornbill, but miss the Malayan Night Heron.

    Malayan Night Heron is rare in Malaysia and Singapore, but very common in Taiwan, you can see it in Taipei Botanic Gardens and parks:

    nerry xmas


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