Tag Archives: Night Heron

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

The Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron was part of the wading bird mix in the receding waters of this pond last week. Despite their name we do see them out during the day hunting while the hunting is good.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

His shorter legs did not slow him down as he worked the water along with the other birds looking for food.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

The mud, however, is more of an impediment when most of your legs and feet are in it.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

Here is view of a cleaner bird after he flew into a tree for a safer vantage point of the pond activity.

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

Click on any photo for larger view.

Test flights: Black-crowned Night Heron

The Black-crowned Night Herons built their nests on the interior of the swamp’s islands so we haven’t seen much of the juveniles. A few weeks ago they started to venture out onto branches and this week we’ve seen some fly.

This one dropped down near the path giving me an opportunity for a portrait. His eyes haven’t yet turned to the characteristic red that makes this heron really stand out as an adult.

Black-crowned Night-Heron Juvenile
Black-crowned Night-Heron Juvenile

Taking a longer flight, this heron flew to the next island, showing off his sizable feet. Like the Great Blue Herons, the Night Herons seem to be on their own learning to fly.

Black-crowned Night-Heron Juvenile
Black-crowned Night-Heron Juvenile

He found a perch and stayed with it.  He had a great spot for watching the Little Blue Herons work on their flying lessons.

Black-crowned Night-Heron Juvenile
Black-crowned Night-Heron Juvenile

Black-crowned Night-Heron Maneuvers

The Black-crowned Night-Herons have spread their nests around the rookery after spending a few weeks where I had spotted them last month. This may be to reduce the squabbling, which they are good at.

Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron – Click photo for larger view

Getting into their nests after an outing is a challenge. They circle around the islands looking for a good landing spot.

Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron  – Click photo for larger view

The landing sequence is typical of the other wading birds, generally looking like they might crash.

Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron – Click photo for larger view

Unlike the Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons I have been watching, moments after they land they disappear into the shrubbery, often by hopping down a branch.

Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron – Click photo for larger view

Like the Great Egrets, they continue to bring sticks to the nest. Because of the nest locations we may never see chicks until they are flying.

Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron – Click photo for larger view

 

Black-crowned Night-Heron Investigating the Pond

I spotted him peaking out from behind some Cypress Knees and expected him to take off when he saw me.

Black-crowned Night-Heron – Click photo for larger view

This Black-crowned Night-Heron evidently was on a mission to check out the banks of the pond. I moved to his other side and still he just poked along allowing me to get some better shots.

Black-crowned Night-Heron – Click photo for larger view

I suspect he might have had fishing on his mind but he never stuck his beak in the water in the twenty minutes I watched him.

Black-crowned Night-Heron – Click photo for larger view

I little further down the path another Night-Heron was taking it easy, one-legged, on a branch over the pond.

Black-crowned Night-Heron – Click photo for larger view

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Now that I know the Night-Herons are around I keep an eye out where I have seen them perch. They tend to tuck into the interior edges of the trees, where you can often see their outline but not get a good shot.

Occasionally they hop out on an exterior branch and that sometimes is a prelude to a flight. Below you can make out two Anhinga sharing the tree. The Anhinga have been quite aggressive chasing off the Great Blue Herons but so far I haven’t seen them gang up on the Night Herons.

These Night Herons are very pale on their chests and under their wings, which is not much contrast in front of all these shiny sticks.

Their red eyes do stand out, though.

This one surprised me when he landed near me and I got a nice look at his colors, including that fantastic eye!

Click on any photo for larger view.

 

Black-crowned Night-Heron

A flock of at least eight Black-crowned Night-Herons have taken space in a couple of the islands at the Heron Rookery.

Black-crowned Night-Herons

I did not see any at our last visit, just four days ago, and I don’t yet know if they stay here to nest or if this is just a stop-over.

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Several of the Herons were making loops around the island in search of good perching spots.

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Click on any photo for larger view.

 

Urban Rookery

White Point Garden, a public park at the tip of Charleston Peninsula, is home to a Night Heron Rookery.

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In mid-August the young were on their own, investigating the ground and the limbs of the massive Live Oaks that provide a dappled shade throughout the park.

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The parents were less visible and appeared to be sleeping while the young were out exploring, oblivious to the tourists strolling underneath.

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