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Yellow-crowned Night-heron

The breeding range of the Yellow-crowned Night-heron ends well south of Maine. Nonetheless, this species has been documented within the state during the breeding season. In their known range, this heron species inhabits swamps and forested wetlands. Yellow-crowned Night-herons form small colonies or nest as more scattered pairs. Plat- form nests are constructed from sticks in trees near water. Nest building is an important part of courtship in this species and nests may be initiated in several places before the final site is selected. Both parents incubate their eggs and brood hatched young. Young birds are fed on a diet of fish and crustaceans which are regurgitated into the center of the nest by their parents. This bird gives a raspy “scaup” and “whoop” calls throughout the night.


Safe Dates: May 25th to July 15th (applicable for only the S or H codes).

Breeding Codes: The Yellow-crowned
 Night-heron is a very rare breeder in Maine, and has
been observed occasionally in the state during the
breeding season. This bird’s secretive and nocturnal nature makes observing breeding behaviors a challenge. Consequently, all potential breeding records should be carefully  documented.

Image courtesy of Tim Lumley

Audio courtesy of John V. Moore.

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