Wanamassa Birds

I frequently stroll the streets of Wanamassa, NJ, with camera at the ready to take pictures of birds.

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Location: Ocean, New Jersey, United States

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Astonishing Luck: a Black Crowned Night Heron

I was on my way back home having given up hope of getting any really good pictures when I noticed that a path had been blazed through some normally intimidating trees and undergrowth that would let me get easily to the stream that is about 100 yards upstream from the duck pond. Not expecting to actually see much more than the stream and the mud banks that it flows through, I was astonished to spot this beautiful bird:

I stared at it in amazement. It stared back at me looking more annoyed than anything else. I tried moving around a bit to get a better angle and it decided to take a hike along the log it was perched on. Here it is on the way back:

And, to add to the astonishment, at that moment the batteries in my camera ran out of juice. Had that happened a few minutes earlier, I'd have been the one who was annoyed!

Note: this evening, I looked up this bird in Sibley's. According to Sibley, this bird's plumage is that of a juvenile in the months from July to January, yet here we are in March. And while a full grown bird has a length of 25 inches, this one struck me as being somewhat smaller than that. I've certainly seen larger specimens over the past few years.


Anonymous Ian Furlonger said...

Superb pictures - this Black Crowned Night Heron seems quite entitled to such a grand name.

10:14 AM  

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