I studied the diet and foraging behavior of fledgling Black-crowned Night-Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) in a mixed-species nesting colony of Black-crowned Night-Herons and Snowy Egrets (Egretta thula) in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1 of 5 years, cannibalism of nestlings that had fallen or climbed out of nests was common, accounting for 66 of 94 (70.2%) prey items taken by fledglings. Juveniles took younger conspecifics by both predation and scavenging. Isolated incidents of cannibalism among Black-crowned Night-Herons have been reported previously, but not on a colony-wide scale.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology