Nycticorax caledonicus   (Gmelin)

Bonin Islands Rufous Night-Heron
(Nycticorax caledonicus crassirostris (Vigors))

syn. -


Japan: Chichi-jima, Nakoudo-jima / Ogasawara Islands

local name:

Hashibuto-goi (Japanese)

size: ca. 60 cm (length)

extinction date: last seen in 1889

This island form of the Rufous Night-Heron could be distinguished from the other subspecies mainly by its stronger and straighter bill.

Friedrich Heinrich von Kittlitz writes in 1832 in his work 'Kupfertafeln zur Naturgeschichte der Vögel' about this heron:

Quite common on Boninsima, where this true night-heron spends the day hiding itself, in the lava caves of the shore and the neighbouring dense shrubbery, in which latter it sometimes gets caught with the feet, and so can be seized easily. Probably the confused screaming originates from it, which we heard there in the air to nearly all times of the night, but sometimes it  gives also some rough mating calls at day, not unlike the screech of the ravens.

The introduction of dogs, cats and rats is seen as reason for the bird's extinction.


Bonin Islands Rufous Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus crassirostris)

Depiction from: 'Friedrich Heinrich von Kittlitz: Kupfertafeln zur Naturgeschichte der Vögel. Frankfurt am Main: Johann David Sauerländer, 1832-1833'


- Dieter Luther: Die ausgestorbenen Vögel der Welt. Westarp Wissenschaften 1986