• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco


Black-crowned Night-Heron

(Nycticorax nycticorax)
blackcrown night heron
A 1st-year Black-crowned Night-Heron hunts at Crissy Marsh.
Will Elder, NPS

Natural History: This bird sustains itself by feeding on small fish and other small vertebrates as well as invertebrates caught by stalking. It usually feeds at dawn, dusk and at night. This species is found around both freshwater and brackish habitats. It roosts and nests in colonies in trees or shrubs near water.

General Distribution: In the Presidio, this species can be found near freshwater, saltwater bays, and tidal areas, particularly frequenting Crissy Marsh.

Frequency: This bird is moderately common at the Presidio throughout the year.

Identifying Characteristics: This is stocky heron with a short neck. Adults have a black crown and back and creamy color neck. Juveniles are a speckled brown and lack black markings.

Presidio Birds main page

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