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.