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Black-crowned-night-heron-showing-pink-breeding-colouration-of-legs.jpg

Despite being fairly ubiquitous on a global level, the slightly unusual nocturnal habit of the black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) renders it less conspicuous than most other herons. Of moderate size for a heron, this stockily built species has short legs and a short neck, with the male, on average, being the slightly larger of the sexes. As its name suggests, the adult black-crowned night heron has a glossy, black cap that extends down the upper back, while the rest of the body plumage generally ranges from white to ashy grey. The nape is adorned with two to three long, white plumes reaching up to 25 cm in the breeding season. The stout bill is black in colour, the eyes, a piercing crimson, and the legs, yellow-green for most of the year but becoming pink during the breeding season. Juveniles are mostly brown, with heavy striping and pale spots, but as they grow towards the adult plumage, become more solidly dark above and pale below.

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