Geographical Range North America, West Indies, South America, Galapagos Islands
Habitat Marshes, swampy forests, lakes, lagoons, mangroves
Scientific Name Nyctanassa violacea
Conservation Status Common

This attractive bird has a slate-grey body, black bill, and orange or yellow legs. Its head is mostly black, with white cheeks and a yellowish crown and plumes.

The yellow-crowned night heron lives in a variety of wetland habitats, both inland and on the coasts. It specializes in hunting crustaceans, particularly crabs and crayfish, which it crushes with its short, powerful bill. But it also eats fish, insects, snails, frogs and small snakes.

Like its name implies, this species is primarily active at night. It roosts silently in a tree during the day, and comes down at dusk to feed.