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White-eared Night Heron - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by James Eaton
Ba-Be, Northern Vietnam, March 2012
Oroanassa magnifica

Gorsachius magnificus


54-56 cm. Black head and nape plumes, white postocular stripe, cheek-stripe and throat, broad black line down neck side, brown underparts with whitish streaks/scales and orange-buff to rufous-chestnut rear neck sides. Females - less distinct head and neck pattern, whitish streaks and spots on back and wings and shorter nape plumes. Juvenile resembles female, but dark parts of plumage browner, has heavier whitish to buff spots above.


Very rare and little known. Restricted to isolated pockets of limestone hill forest in eastern and south-eastern China, including Hainan, and north-eastern Vietnam, although nocturnal habits and secretive behaviour make accurate assessment of current range and status problematic. Recorded in Anhui, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangxi-Zhuangzu in mainland China, and recently discovered in adjacent Bắc Kạn Province in NE Vietnam, where it is now known to breed in Ba Be National Park. Seasonal movements unknown, although there is a suggestion that it is at least partly migratory, with winter movements to Hainan.



Dense hill forest close to streams, rivers, reservoirs and rice-fields.


The diet includes small fish, shrimps and invertebrates.

It is active mainly at night.

3-5 eggs are laid.


Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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