King of the Night
Updated: Apr 1, 2021
If you purchased my 2021 “Talk Birdie to Me” calendar... meet your January bird!
These stocky stalkers urge you to stay out of their business. If you wish to pry, they’ll may make it rain and you’ll possibly find yourself covered in vomit and poop. Black-crowned Night-Herons are amongst the smallest in the heron family. They can be found on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. These hunchback(ish) hunters creep slowly (like most herons) through shallow water searching for their next meal. They’re also opportunistic eaters, so they'll devour small mammals and baby birds if needed. Black-crowned Night-Herons are subject to encounter eggs and raise young from brood parasites (like the brown-headed cowbird) because they do not distinguish their eggs from other bird species.
You can usually find these chunky chick stealers chillin’ in the cut (being reclusive in nature) in various wetland habitats. I had the opportunity to observe the herons (pictured below) in a heavily human disturbed habitat. This afforded me the opportunity to photography them at an extremely close range. In fact, they approached me along with the ducks and geese in the surrounding the area. As for the “night-heron” designation, they’re simply most active at night; however, you can certainly find them foraging during the day, just as I did.