Black-crowned Night-Heron - Nycticorax nycticorax
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The Black-crowned Night-Heron is found on all continents except for Antarctica. In the S.F. Bay Area, a reliable place to see them is at Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA. They can be found near the boatyard (Bellevue Ave and Staten Ave). There are always a few hanging out around the fence and bushes. You can even get fairly close to them without alarming them. I have also seen them nesting at Bird Rock, Point Lobos (south of Carmel, CA) near the Brandt's Cormorants.
Black-crowned Night-Herons are tree nesters. Sexes look similar, but the female are slightly smaller. They primarily eat at night. Their food consists of small fish, crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects and small mammals.