Malayan Night Heron

Information about the Bird Malayan Night Heron

The Malayan night heron (Gorsachius melanolophus), also known as Malaysian night heron and tiger bittern, is a medium-sized heron. It is distributed in southern and eastern Asia.

The Malayan night heron has been found in India, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. It is a vagrant in Christmas Island and Palau. Its range size is estimated at 1,240,000km2. This bird occurs in forests, streams, and marshes.
The Malayan night heron is about 48cm (19in) long. The wingspan is about 86cm (34in). It is stocky, with a short beak. Its neck and breast are rufous. There are streaks going down the centre of the neck to the breast. The upperparts are chestnut and vermiculated. The flight feathers are blackish. The crown is black, the chin is white, and the eyes are yellow. The beak is black and the legs are greenish. The juvenile is greyish to rufous and is spotted and vermiculated.
The Malayan night heron is usually solitary. It roosts in trees and feeds in open areas. Its territorial call is deep oo notes. It also produces hoarse croaks and arh, arh, arh. The most common food items are earthworms and frogs, and it will sometimes eat fish. A study of its pellets found reptiles, snails, chilopods, arachnids, crabs and insects.
The bird has a large range and its global population is between 2,000 and 20,000 individuals. Its population trend is not known, but it does not meet the criteria for a vulnerable species status.

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