Saturday, November 19, 2011

Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron

Juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycotidor. This little heron was perched on the railing of a nearby boat. As I stepped carefully, one foot after the other, closer to get a more detailed photo, he ever so slowly turned away from me to face his body away from me (to allow him to launch into the air towards a nearby tree), his head and eyes remaining ever vigilant on my progress, while his legs stepped slowly, one after the other, along the railing. Still, he remaied on that railing, having been there early in the morning when we arrived for the whale watching trip and remaining there when we returned, several hours later.

At first, I thought this was a green heron or else perhaps some other heron that I had not seen before, his color being so different from the adult black and white plummage of a Black-Crowned Night Heron, and his presence in broad daylight outside of the cover of a tree being somewhat uncharacteristic of the Black-Crowned Night Herons which frequent Mission Bay. Luckily, however, the National Geographic Field guide I was perusing included pictures of juvenile birds. Hence, the hopefully correct ID above.

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