Animalblog
Black Crowned Night Heron

Largely nocturnal, found worldwide in wetlands external link and marshes
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Black-crowned Night Heron (nycticorax nicticorax)
(1 of 8) (47429 views)

(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary
Photo Posted May 24, 2007
© 2007 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
#20070524.jpg


At the sanctuary, there is a group of palm trees next to the large pond that provides prime nesting spots. It is fenced off to ensure the breeding birds are not disturbed.

In late March, this was one of many night herons nesting amongst the snowy and great egrets. Its usually yellow legs are pink because it's breeding season.


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Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
(2 of 8) (46438 views)

(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sancutary
Photo Posted May 25, 2007
© 2007 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
#20070525.jpg


Taken late March, this bird is probably a year or two old and has the yellow legs you see on both juveniles and non breeding adults. They get their full adult plumage in the third year.

If you look at this shot and the thumbnail below it, you can see they are roughly the same size and shape. Nice of them to pose for their comparison shots.


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20071015.jpg

Black-crowned Night Heron
(3 of 8) (46292 views)

(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California
Photo Posted Monday, October 15, 2007
© 2007 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
#20071015.jpg


The bird on the left is a young adult who won't achieve the look of the mature bird on its right for another year.
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20071020.jpg

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
(4 of 8) (46391 views)

(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California
Photo Posted Saturday, October 20, 2007
© 2007 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
#20071020.jpg


Seeing a bright red eye on a bird, to me, is quite startling. Although the heron external link appears to be standing one-legged, the other leg is actually stretched out in front, grasping another branch.
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20080529.jpg

Black Crowned Night Heron
(5 of 8) (48423 views)

(2008) Baylands Preserve, Palo Alto, California
Photo Posted Thursday, May 29, 2008
© 2008 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
#20080529.jpg


It's breeding season again for the Night Heronsinternal link and Snowy Egrets.internal link Here is a Heron settling a property dispute with his Egret neighbor.
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20080615.jpg

Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
(6 of 8) (48317 views)

(2008) Baylands Preserve, Palo Alto, California
Photo Posted Sunday, June 15, 2008
© 2008 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
#20080615.jpg


A large fledgling appears mesmerized by the camera. external link
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20100129_Black-Crowned_Night_Heron.jpg

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
(7 of 8) (53645 views)

Palo Alto, California
(Photo posted Friday 29 January, 2010)
(Photo taken 12:53:23 Monday, 19 May, 2008)
© 2010 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
#Night_Heron


An adult night heron in full breeding plumage showing off its pink legs which are yellow the rest of the year. external link


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20101108.jpg

Black-crowned Night Heron
(8 of 8) (53293 views)

Oxnard, California
(Photo posted Monday 8 November, 2010)
(Photo taken 09:21:08 Friday 8 October, 2010)
© 2010 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
#20101108.jpg


This bedraggled juvenile black-crowned night heron was perched on the dock near the boat we were going to use. I hoped it wasn't a harbinger of how our trip would turn out.


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