Saturday, December 31, 2011

Yellow-crowned Night Herons

Night Herons are particularly intriguing to me as they always seem to be so elusive.  I finally had an opportunity to view a Yellow-crowned Night Heron this past week on my visit to Fort De Soto State Park. I actually saw three adult Yellow-crowned Night Herons hiding in different areas among the mangroves as well as one feeding at low tide. 

Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Fort De Soto State Park

 I also saw one juvenile feeding on small crabs at low tide at East Beach. Yellow-crowned juveniles look quite similar to Black-crowned juveniles. Yellow-crowned Night Heron juveniles can be distinguished from juvenile Black-crowned Night Herons best by noting their thicker, darker bill (compared to the Black-crowned's greenish yellow lower mandible), longer legs, and slimmer bodies, as well as, by their lighter edging on their outer wings and smaller spots on their head and neck.  Since I don't have experience viewing either of these juvenile night herons, my first thought that this was a Yellow-crowned was because there were several Yellow-crowned adults in the area.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Fort De Soto State Park










After Fort DeSoto, we took a trip to Sanibel Island to visit J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge where I saw another juvenile Yellow-crowned night Heron as well as one adult. Since I haven't had the fortune to see these herons at my usual birding spots, I was really excited to have the chance to view them.

Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge





5 comments:

  1. Thank you Antonio! Happy New Year to you!

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  2. Amazing photography. Thanks Tammy.

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  3. Tammy, I especially like the first photo of the adult in the mangroves because it shows so well the habitat these herons like. Nicely done!

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  4. Thank you Bob & Mia! Mia, I definitely see why you love Fort De Soto, my next visit needs to be much longer.

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I greatly appreciate your comments!