Creature of the Night

Black-Crowned Night Heron

You may never have seen a Black-Crowned Night Heron although, if you live in the United States near its cousins the Egrets and Great Blue Herons, there may be one nearby.

That’s because, true to his name, Basil here feeds at night (or dawn), not wading into the water so much as lurking in the reeds until he spies a meal—then striking fast. So I’m calling him a Shorebird although he may be officially a Wading Bird? If you know the truth, please enlighten me with a REPLY!

Shaped somewhat like the little Green Heron, he doesn’t extend his neck much except when feeding—so if you’re lucky enough to find one, he’ll be hunched over like this. His kind has penetrated pretty much the entire world. Basil’s relatives winter in the Southern States and Mexico, although I have read that the Black-Crowned Night Herons in frosty Patagonia stay there all year round. Brrrr!

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