Interesting behaviour of Black-crowned Night Heron in Hong Kong

“Recently, I spent 2 weeks in Hong Kong Island. I observed a flock of 6 Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) station regularly in the Public Pier of North Point, Hong Kong Island. It is a crowded place with heavy human traffic, bus terminal and cross-harbour ferry. Everyday, there are 10 -20 guys doing shore fishing nearby.

“The Night Heron would arrive about 8 am and station till 6 pm just before dark on the pillar of the overhead bridge to keep a distance from human being but yet just 20–30 ft away.

“They stood there about 15 ft above water and jumped into the water to catch the small fish. It is contra to what we usually see other herons standing in the shadow water and picking up the prey from the bottom of the seabed (above).

“Furthermore, these herons usually keep the fish in the bill, turning it so that the tail faces outwards before swallowing. However, this night heron put the fish on the ground first, flipped it over and over before swallowing (above).

“It is believed that the night heron has settled down nearby as there is a juvenile bird following them everyday.”

William Ip
Singapore
August 2011

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