from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several nocturnal or crepuscular herons of the genus Nycticorax, especially the black-crowned heron, N. nycticorax.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. any one of several species of herons of the genus Nycticorax, found in various parts of the world. The best known species is Nycticorax griseus, or Nycticorax nycticorax, of Europe, and the American variety (var. nævius). The yellow-crowned night heron (Nyctanassa violacea syn. Nycticorax violaceus) inhabits the Southern States.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A heron of crepuscular or somewhat nocturnal habits.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. nocturnal or crepuscular herons


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  • nicknamed the shitepoke, due to its habit of emptying its bowels when alarmed.

    October 16, 2007