Night by Day

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

Once again, the Night Heron works in broad daylight. It stood out like a flare against the rocks below the Open Circle viewpoint. At first it adopted the Marcel Marceau method of heron hunting: standing perfectly still and waiting for the passing stream to present an offering. A bird landing nearby jerked it out of its stasis and triggered alarm mode, but once it identified the newcomer as merely a gull, it turned back to the important business of getting a meal. It poked its beak into various nooks and crannies, demonstrating the telescoping qualities of its neck. Other herons collapse and extend their necks by curving the whole member into an S shape. This heron contains the S in its vertebrae inside the skin and musculature of the neck, so that it can extend and contract its neck almost straight, like the shaft of an umbrella or the lens of a camera. As I filmed, the bird turned the corner and stepped out of sight without success in its hunt. However, the tide was still dropping, and chances are something of interest would be revealed if it persisted. Some sources say that Night Herons tend to hunt in daylight during their breeding time, when they need extra protein.

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

More about them: Wikipedia Cornell Audubon In Chavez Park

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