Black-Crowned Night Heron

Black Crowned Night Heron

Black-Crowned Night Heron turning my way at last shows off its brilliant red eye as the sun breaks through.

While the Black-Crowned Night Heron is said to be the most widespread heron in the world occurring everywhere except Australia and Antarctica, I do not see them terribly often on outings. And when I do they seem rather elusive and shy.  But, they surprise me now and then and  I have seen them at Corkscrew Swamp, at Big Cypress Swamp and along Tamiami Trail. This particular subject I found at Wakodahatchee last weekend. Difficulties with bird photography can be so unexpected sometimes. Usually it is the duration that the bird stays put that is the problem. You have to be as quick as the birds are!  Sometimes it is twigs and distractions which block the view or a satisfactory composition.  Sometimes it might just be the photographic challenges of dim lighting with an active creature. My problem with this guy was not that he moved away, nope, he stayed completely put the whole time I was there. Barely moved a muscle except to preen with his back to me and then gaze sleepily into the branches in the other direction.  So I took other opportunities and kept checking back to see if it was still there in perhaps a more active or inviting pose. Lighting was not a huge problem but it was quite variable with passing clouds and sun breaking through here and there. The sun caught the bird’s rather disinterested but jewel-like eye in the top image as I was waiting for a cloud to pass by. My favorite feature of the Black-Crowned Night Heron is that striking red eye of the adults and that nice curvature of the eyelids when not open all the way. This fellow may have just been a tad drowsy in the lazy, cloudy day. Night herons after all, by definition are crepuscular and nocturnal in their habits.   Maybe it will stick around the rookery for mating season and give us a view of little chicks?

Black Crowned Night Heron

Here it seems a bit pensive and I felt guilty intruding on its solitude with my camera stubbornly aimed its way.

A lovely creature of the night for us to enjoy!!


~ by Judy on November 10, 2013.

10 Responses to “Black-Crowned Night Heron”

  1. The red eyes are striking indeed. I will have to pay more attention to the herons I see around here and look for those eyes. Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos.

  2. The B-c Night Heron is a real beauty! Terrific shots!

  3. Most unusual, very distinctive. But I’m not sure if that red eye gives the bird, like, a warm glow, or whether it tips it towards the demonic. 🙂

  4. It’s so funny – this is one more example of the differences in our worlds. This heron is the one I see most, and the one that’s easiest to photograph. Perhaps it’s because they’re in a more urban environment and have adapted to people. They sit around on the docks, fishing, or roost in trees where they’re easily seen. You’d go crazy with all the subjects for your camera!

    I love the red eyes – and this one certainly seems to be giving you “the eye” in that first photo. I think you’re right that he was just a bit lazy or drowsy or whatever in the second. I can just hear him sighing to himself, thinking, “Isn’t this woman ever going to leave me in peace?”

    Hope all’s well in your world. We’re a day away from a cold front – the first serious one of the fall. There’s no doubt it’s coming. The coots have arrived!

    • Vive la différence!! All’s well in these parts with a great new birding season in the offing! We too are looking forward to cooler weather in the morning!!

  5. So beautiful, as always, Judy!

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