In Early Light

Black=crowned Night Heron (INycticorax nycticorax)

A strange white shape drew my eye to the rocks below the Open Circle Viewpoint. Litter? The zoom lens showed a plug of feathers, as of a bird stuck in a crack between the stones. However, minutes later the plug dissolved and a Black-crowned Night Heron emerged into the early morning light. This bird showed unusual mobility. Usually they stand stock-still in one spot with their nose pointed at the water, waiting for something edible to swim within range, when they strike with lightning speed. This bird hadn’t found a spot it liked for that method of hunting, and I got a chance to watch it navigate on the rip-rap. I admire the flexibility and smarts of its feet. It can maneuver securely on sharp slopes coated with slippery seaweed. After some roaming it found a slot between the rocks where it liked its chances, and it froze in place. At that point the gap between the heron’s unhurried sense of time and my own became intolerable and I departed.

Black=crowned Night Heron (INycticorax nycticorax)

More about them: Wikipedia Cornell Audubon In Chavez Park

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