This is an immature or juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron, one in its first year. In early afternoon, it landed in our yard to look around. It was clearly curious. I was a bit surprised because these birds are more often seen at dusk.

I had been working in the kitchen. By the time I washed my hands and grabbed the camera, our visitor was already retreating back to the pond.

The neck is extensible; it was longer when the bird landed. It’s a deceptively big bird, evident when it spreads its wings in flight.

Several years ago, I had the privilege of photographing a mature Black-crowned Night-Heron at dusk. It’s a favorite photo, which I plan to include in a permanent gallery of bird photos, when time permits.

These two photos were taken at 2:30 pm on July 27, 2011 with a telephoto lens, and then further enlarged digitally on the computer. As always, you can click on the photos to view them in greater, splendid detail.

Update: A neighbor tells me that years ago there were many more Black-crowned Night-Herons on the pond. Alas, we’ve lost a great deal of nesting area to invasive plants such as tiger lilies and purple loosestrife. Something can and should be done about it, but eradication will require a big, sustained effort.

See related posts: Young Night-Heron II, Young Night-Heron III*. Click image to enlarge it, and browser’s back arrow to close. Comments are welcome.


3 Responses to Young Night-Heron*

  1. Dede Reade says:

    While I have seen the night heron a number of times I have never seen the view of it in flight. Looks like it is wearing a little white skirt. Beautiful bird and beautiful picture!

    • Ron Cohen says:

      Thanks very much. As I remind everyone, this is an immature or juvenile heron. According to The Sibley Guide to Birds, it will maintain this appearance through January, then take an intermediate form from February through August (a period Sibley calls “first summer”), finally morphing into the adult form of black, white and gray that we are all familiar with.

  2. Claire LeBlanc says:

    Ron- This is just so beautiful, I think it’s one of your best ever! I have not seen that bird, but I’m looking for it now! You really need to make a book of all these gorgeous creatures that live right in the middle of this big city called Waltham. Such a treasure for sure!

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