black-crowned night heron

6.25.20 ~ black-crowned night heron
Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic

Another early morning walk, definitely the bird hour. I was taking pictures of the pond when this black-crowned night heron flew up from the water and perched on the evergreens. I had to use the telephoto lens but he seemed well aware that I was looking at him and seemed determined to stay right there until I went away. He won! After moving myself to different vantage points and taking five zillion pictures I finally left him there. Most birds fly away before I can get a good shot.

water lily
pond full of water lilies
from a slightly different angle
and then it changed positions
a sidelong glance
across the Mystic River

The restlessness of shorebirds, their kinship with the distance and swift seasons, the wistful signal of their voices down the long coastlines of the world make them, for me, the most affecting of wild creatures.
~ Peter Matthiessen
(The Peter Matthiessen Reader: Nonfiction, 1959-1991)

15 thoughts on “black-crowned night heron”

  1. It’s always so interesting to see the birds you have in your area, Barbara. They’re so different to those we have in my part of Australia.
    Hope you are keeping well. xx

    1. I feel the same way about the wildlife in Australia, Joanne, it seems so exotic to me! We are doing well here so far, three and a half months into self-quarantine. Hope you are staying safe and well, too. *hugs*

  2. I didn’t even know about black-crowned night herons! I don’t think we have them here in Ohio. But You are right–early morning is the best time to find waterfowl, for sure!

    1. After looking at the All About Birds range map and eBirds sightings map, I see that the black-crowned night heron is sometimes seen up around Lake Erie, but less often here. Still, now that I know of its existence, I will keep an eye out for one! 🙂

      1. I was pretty excited to come across this black-crowned night heron because Tim had got some pictures of one three years ago, in a different place, when I wasn’t with him, and I finally had a chance to get my own shots! So hopefully one will surprise you with an appearance, too, when you least expect it. 🙂 I’m getting itchy to explore some of the Connecticut Audubon bird sanctuaries I learned about in the bird-watching course, but I’m wary of summer’s deterrents, disease carrying bugs, poison ivy, humidity….

  3. The black-crowned night heron is a beautiful bird. There are no birds like that around here. Your photos show its pretty coloring. Fun to come along with you on your walks.

    1. It was nice to have you along on my walks, Ally! If I continue going out early I might find some more of the shorebirds who live around here, ones I haven’t encountered yet. Yesterday I saw an osprey but the pictures were terrible.

  4. You so love photographing birds, don’t you, Barbara? What an eye you have for capturing their wee nuances and feathers and expressions. Glad you’re enjoying early morning walks. Me too. It’s so hot this week that’s the only time to get out and about and enjoy the natural world.

    1. Thank you, Kathy. It’s funny. I love taking pictures outdoors in natural settings and somehow birds keep showing up in my life. It all started with the gull with with the mangled leg in 2011. Oh dear summer, your heat waves are so difficult to cope with. We haven’t had one yet, being so close to the shore, but it won’t be long. May yours not last too much longer…

  5. This heron made sure that you could get all of her good sides! Looks like she was beautiful all the way around. Fabulous photography, Barbara. I do believe the birds are looking at us while we’re looking at them. From my bedroom window our hummingbird feeder is about 2 feet away and as a hummingbird sips her water she stares at me as I stare at her.

    1. Thank you so much, Pam! It was loads of fun “working” with such a photogenic bird. That must be quite a treat having your hummingbirds close enough to make eye contact. My husband’s cousin is a passionate lover of hummingbirds — don’t remember just how many feeders she has — but so far I haven’t seen any around here. They must be challenging to catch on camera. Hope you’re enjoying the summer with all the lovely birds in your garden.

      1. We are loving the summer songbirds as well as the fairy-like hummers. All so friendly! Except for the large Hawk family who live nearby and terrorize the bird neighborhood from time to time. Amazing watching nature at its finest every day. xo

        1. Ah, nature and the circle of life. Every bird has to feed its family. I was thrilled once when a barred owl landed on a tree right by our balcony — until I realized it was probably hunting my songbirds. Nature does look for balance. *hugs*

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