As I was about to end my walk around Murfree Spring Wetlands Sunday, I turned the corner toward the entrance and saw this beautiful creature standing in the middle of the large swamp. This is a Yellow Crowned Night Heron and a Life List bird for me. Isn't he gorgeous. I had never laid eyes on one before. Quite honestly, I didn't even know there was such a thing. The only thing I knew for certain was this was not a Black Crowned Night Heron.
It didn't take long for me to identify this bird as I knew it was some sort of crowned Heron. Yellow Crowned Night Herons are nocturnal birds that reside mainly in southern swamps and along southern coastlines. The yellow crown is their distinctive feature which is what they are named for although they do have yellow legs as well. These Herons are stockier than the Great Blue Heron, the Little Blue Heron or the Tri-Colored Heron.
A juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron has a longer neck and sports a grayer toned body. Actually, the juvenile doesn't really resemble the adult all that much when I looked them up online. I thought perhaps I would see a Black Crowned Night Heron at the wetlands as I had seen photos online that mentioned sightings, but no dice.
The entire time I photographed this Heron he was very intent stalking about in search of a snack. Finally, a lady with two young boys approached and off he flew. I knew he wouldn't stay long with young children chatting away. It has rained off and on since yesterday, but hopefully we won't have the drenching rain that Texas and Oklahoma are getting. Such tragedy in Texas from the floodwaters and on Memorial Day no less. My heart goes out to everyone there. Back soon with more images from my walk on the wild side. ENJOY!