Night by Day

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

I hadn’t seen a Black-crowned Night Heron since last November (“In Early Light” Nov. 11 2021). Now this familiar bird is back in a spot where I’ve seen it several times before: the rocks on the east side of the seasonal Burrowing Owl Sanctuary, now open to the public, since the owls have left. This heron was a large adult. It perched on the rocks at the water’s edge at low tide with its eye on a shallow pool. It stood almost perfectly still, only tilting its head a degree or two from time to time. These birds don’t waste a lot of energy in their hunting method. Males and females are identical, although females may be a tad smaller. The slightly iridescent blue on its back and the red/pink/orange hue of its legs say that this bird is breeding or ready to breed. Feeding during daytime is another indication of breeding readiness; at other times they normally feed in darkness, as their name suggests.

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

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One thought on “Night by Day

  • Stunning, What a photo, Marty. You make me want to race out to the marina and see this beauty for myself.

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