It was unusual to see a Black-crowned Night-heron out in the open like this. They usually are in a tree or hidden by undergrowth, especially if they aren’t actively feeding.
He’s standing on the interior of a pond that just two days before was under water on a high point that made an island. The pond is being drained, likely to control the growth of this grass would eventually choke the pond.
When I passed by a second time it had started to sprinkle.
The heron didn’t seem interested in feeding or taking cover from the rain, and strolled along the edge,
I’ve seen a Black-crowned Night-Heron on this stretch of bank where some trees have fallen into the pond the past few times I’ve been there. It may be the cover of the limbs that attracts them, although they are exposed to the walking path on the inside.
I was hoping he would do some fishing, but he just looked around. I did get a full side view that shows off his beautiful color scheme, and that red eye!
He eventually flew off but either he or another one returned less then ten minutes later, this time taking a position in the late afternoon sun.
The juvenile Night-Herons were more active on this morning in the rookery than the snoozing adults.
A few of them were wandering around on these gnarly tree branches in the dappled sun.
A comparison of the juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron at All About Birds finds they are quite similar, with the Black-crowned variety having “larger spots and bolder streaks.” Hard to tell unless you have one of each side-by-side.
1/30/2018, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, St. Augustine, Florida.
Several Yellow-crowned Night-Herons were scattered around the rookery soaking up the morning sun. This one was tucked in the fronds of a palm tree showing off his blue/grey feathers..
The back of this rookery property has a double fence to contain the alligators and this Heron took his spot on the inner layer where the vines were still dormant in late January. The brown layer behind the bird is the second fence, also covered with brown vines.
Out in open, this juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron seemed undecided about his next move. During the day it is more common to see them tucked at a pond or stream shoreline, or in a tree. Perhaps risky for him but it made a nice photograph for me.
Human presence or maybe an alligator swimming by urged him to go. He landed in some trees across the pond. I could still see him but he was in a more protected spot.