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Old Jun 11, 2004, 11:14 PM   #1
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The bird in the upper left is clearly a black crowned night heron. What is the other one? This was near sunset at a lake where many flavors of heron like to roost (and an osprey hunts there, which is what I was looking for at the time.)

To stoke the fires, there had been a sighting of a first year yellow crowned night heron on this lake twice within a few weeks of this picture.

I appoligize for the quality of the shot it was hand held at ISO 400 400mm near sunset at about 1/45th. The birds were about 200 yards away.

I have talked with other and I believe I know what it is. Lets see what you all think.

Eric
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Old Jun 12, 2004, 2:43 AM   #2
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This is a toughie, especially given that I can hardly make out the head of the bird at all, but also because I'm so rusty. Nevertheless, with the knowledge that I may be completely offtrack...

1. IMHO it is no Yellow Crowned Night Heron - I was very familiar with 4 breeding pairs of these birds for an entire season during college.

2. It seems to be comparable in size to the Black Crowned Night Heron.

3. It appears to be a stocky heron, but looks can be deceiving at the angle at which the bird has been photographed.

4. The grey colored feathers are not uniformly gray, but mottled.

5. The legs appear to be light colored, perhaps pinkish, like the Night Heron in the background, but since it was near sunset perhaps the perceived leg color cannot be relied on.

Okay, I feel like I'm out on a limb on this one, but it's either a Little Blue Heron in the changing phase between immature and mature (I really wish I could make out the beak) or a mutant Night Heron :-)

Now you can tell me how offbase I am... :-)


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Old Jun 12, 2004, 4:11 PM   #3
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Oh how I wish it were a Little Blue Heron. But it isn't. You are correct, it is a first year (immature) Black Crowned Night Heron.

Personally, I think its seems a bit bigger than the BCNH in the picture, but that can happen with the younger birds. They fluff out.

The beak is actually visible, but portions of the head and eye are not (and a red eye might be helpful.)

When I took it I had hoped it was the yellow crowned ('cause I've never seen one before) but too many people told me "no" so I had to believe them.

Eric
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Old Jun 12, 2004, 5:23 PM   #4
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Well, I was only 1/2 correct :-(

To my eyes, it is very difficult to make out anything in the area of the head - it all seems to just melt into the chaos of the branches and leaves behind. My eyes aren't the greatest though...
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Old Jun 12, 2004, 6:50 PM   #5
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Yeah I got one a few weeks ago at a cemetary pond hiding under some drapped trees in the muck. Its the first time that I have seen one, my fiancee saw him before me. Butwhen I did see him I was mostly like(omg :shock:what the freak is that!) lol.




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Old Jun 12, 2004, 9:13 PM   #6
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Yep, Black Crowned Night Herons are wierd and beautiful all at the same time, but I was just in shock when I saw my first Yellow Crowned Night Herons. I was on my morning birding walk in the woods behind the dormitories at SUNY @ Stony Brook (Long Island, NY) and I had the sneaking suspicion that I was being watched from above. So I started scanning the treetops with averted vision and noticed some slight movement near the crowns. Sure enough, I had found a pair of nesting Yellow Crowns that were staring down at me. As I scanned some more, I eventually found 4 nesting pairs within a small area of one another. I never told anyone else at the time because I didn't want to see them disturbed during their breeding season. IMHO, Yellow Crowns are regal.
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Old Jun 13, 2004, 2:28 PM   #7
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I've never seen a Yellow Crowned, but I'd love to. They are on my list of things to see (along with Snowy Owls and Short Eared Owls.... last winter was bad for snowys, but I just missed Short Eared several times. Arrgg!!!)

UniSonBBS
Nice picture (but I think I said that when you posted it originally.)

Eric
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