I’ve recently seen both the Black-crowned Night-Heron and the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and you can easily tell them apart. Now when it comes to their kids, well that’s a different story… The juvenile Night-Herons look almost identical! I am at the point where I don’t even bother to try to figure out which one it is, I’ll just keep my eyes open for the adults.
The adult Black-crowned Night-Heron has a dark cap on his head and is a stocky bird. As for the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, they have a black and white pattern on their face and are taller.
The juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron has longer legs, thicker/darker bill, a bit grayer with smaller spots compared to the juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron. It does sound like a lot of differences, but unless you put the two of them side by side, it is extremely difficult to know which one you’re looking at!
Adult Black-crowned Night-Heron
Adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron
Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron