I recently saw this bird hanging around a small pond that I was birding at. I have already seen this bird this year and didn’t need to add it to my count, but I enjoy getting its photo. I think the reason I try to get photos of the Black-crowned Night-Heron is because they don’t move much, they don’t flutter around, they aren’t too skittish, they don’t fly off when I stop nearby, they just sit quietly letting me take my photo.
Have you ever seen the Black-crowned Night-Heron’s eyes? The dark red eyes, kinda looks like a shiny marble.
Sometimes they’ll walk slowly through the shallow water, but they’re often seen just standing still.
Most of the time they forage throughout the night. During the day you usually see them in groups just sitting in trees near water. They will mostly eat fish.
They are found throughout the US and are found nesting on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.
It is thought that they forage at night because during the day all the other herons and egrets forage, making it difficult for the Black-crowned Night-Heron to compete for food.
Here are a few water birds that I’ve seen lately. I’m very lucky to live on a lake, so that I can see these birds!
This is the male Hooded Merganser. Mergansers are the only US ducks that specialize in eating fish. They forage by diving and swimming underwater. Fish is found by sight, their eyes are adapted for good underwater vision.
This Great Blue Heron is also looking for fish. They usually forage by standing still or walking slowly in the shallow water, when a fish swims near, they strike them with their bill. I’ve seen them eat some very big fish and it amazes me how they manage to swallow them without choking!
The Canada Goose can be found throughout all of the US and Canada. Years ago they used to migrate, but now many geese remain as permanent residents to their area.
Their diet consists almost entirely on plant material. They “honk” or talk to each other in their flocks. I usually hear them honking when they are about to fly off to another area, sometimes I hear them honking in the middle of the night (for no good reason at all except to wake me up)…
At the State Park I saw a few birds and very few people. I kept my mask on, I’ve been staying away from people, stores, restaurants, etc…. since March and I’m not going to let my guard down and catch the virus now!!!
That being said, getting outside in nature and breathing the fresh air is something I need for my mental health, so I try to make safe birding a priority…
Here are a couple of birds that I saw…
This is the Tricolored Heron. You usually only see one foraging alone in coastal lagoons, but when they nest, they are often in very large colonies with various other herons and egrets.
Try to guess this next photo, which Plover do you think this one is?
It’s the Semipalmated Plover. Semipalmated means to have toes that are joined only part way down with a web.
In the photo above, I tried to show its foot, but it’s a bit muddy so it’s hard to see that it is partially webbed.
They breed mostly on gravel bars along rivers or ponds instead of the tundra habitat that most other shorebirds choose.