Black-crowned Night Heron
Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands
Black-crowned Night HeronNycticorax nycticorax falklandicus
Local Name: Quark
Breeding Range: Falkland Islands
Falklands Population: ~3,000 breeding pairs
World Population: as above (subspecies restricted to Falklands)
The Black-crowned Night Heron breeds singly or in small groups in a variety of coastal habitats, the subspecies Nycticorax nycticorax falklandicus being restricted to the Falklands. Favoured nesting sites are low cliffs with tussac grass or shrubs, but they also nest in freshwater reed-beds and trees. Nests are constructed from twigs, vegetation and seaweed, with 2 to 4 eggs being laid from October to December. Very occasionally a second clutch is laid in January. Black-crowned Night Herons remain around the Falklands throughout the year, feeding on small fish and invertebrates in tidal rock pools and small streams. Sexes are similar in appearance. Juveniles are brown with buff streaks, and do not attain full adult plumage until 4 years of age.