Animalblog, Black Crowned Night Heron
Largely nocturnal, found worldwide in wetlands and marshes
20080615.jpg

Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
(1 of 8) (55001 views)

(2008) Baylands Preserve, Palo Alto, California
Photo Posted Sunday, June 15, 2008
© 2008 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
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A large fledgling appears mesmerized by the camera. external link
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Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron
(2 of 8) (53942 views)

(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sancutary
Photo Posted May 25, 2007
© 2007 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
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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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Black-crowned Night Heron
(3 of 8) (53758 views)

(2007) Delta waters near Oakley, California
Photo Posted Monday, October 15, 2007
© 2007 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
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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) (53813 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) (55105 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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Black-crowned Night Heron (nycticorax nicticorax)
(6 of 8) (55067 views)

(2007) Palo Alto Bird Sanctuary
Photo Posted May 24, 2007
© 2007 Terry Costales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License
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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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Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
(7 of 8) (61373 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
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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) (61035 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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