Night stalker has Chinese nickname

"Standing like a bad-tempered school master at the edge of the reed bed, the nankeen night heron owes its unusual name to a Chinese import.

The word "nankeen" refers to the bird's buff-coloured back which is the same colour as a type of cloth called nankeen, which in Victorian times was imported from Nanking in China.

Also known as the rufous night heron – again because of its colour - this elegant bird, which usually sports two long head plumes throughout the year, is mainly nocturnal and is one of 11 species of herons found in Australia."

Read more from Peter Hancock's "Birds of Perth" series.

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