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Black Crowned Night Heron 2
Bob and Nadine Johnston
Photograph - Fine Art Available On Canvas Or Prints
An Mature black capped night Heron at Wilderness lakes Thousand Trails Preserve or campground. TTN calls its campgrounds Preserves, as they do everything possible to protect the environment and wildlife found in them.
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THERE are amazing varieties of birds at wilderness, have seen not only the heron, but red shouldered hawks, Canada geese nesting and raising goslings, coots, egrets, gray heron, mallards and too many others to mention here.
These birds stand still at the water's edge and wait to ambush prey, mainly at night or early morning. They primarily eat small fish, crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects, small mammals and small birds. During the day they rest in trees or bushes. N. n. hoactli is more gregarious outside the breeding season than the nominate race.
The night herons are medium-sized herons in the genera Nycticorax, Nyctanassa and Gorsachius. The genus name Nycticorax derives from the Greek for night raven and refers to the largely nocturnal feeding habits of this group of birds, and the croaking crow-like call of the best known species, the Black-crowned Night Heron.
They have pale grey wings and white underparts. Two or three long white plumes, erected in greeting and courtship displays, extend from the back of the head. The sexes are similar in appearance although the males are slightly larger.
Black-crowned Night Herons (in some light they appear more blue than gray) do not fit the typical body form of the heron family. They are relatively stocky and about 25 in tall (63 cm) with shorter bills, legs, and necks than their more familiar cousins the egrets and "day" herons. Their resting posture is normally somewhat hunched but when hunting they extend their necks and look more like other wading birds.
Immature birds have dull grey-brown plumage on their heads, wings, and backs, with numerous pale spots. Their underparts are paler and streaked with brown. The young birds have orange eyes and duller yellowish-green legs. They are very noisy birds in their nesting colonies, with calls that are commonly transcribed as quok or woc, woc.
April 19th, 2012
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black crowned capped night heron thousand trails preserve campground ttn odw mda tt enironment wilderness lake lakes egrets gray grey mallards coots prey ambush fish crustaceans frogs aquaticinsets mammals birds nycticorax