Night Herons are not an especially common sight in my local haunts,
so when a photographer friend and I spotted Julius here,
I was at first a bit perplexed. “Night Heron, I think,” said my more
knowledgeable compadre, “but what’s with the plumage?”
”Maybe a calico-stage adolescent?” said I. Whatever, we came across
a number of these spotted mystery birds —and then a tree full of them,
in branches where we’d seen Egrets roosting before.
Home from our adventure, I developed the photographs
and plunged into my Sibley Birds book. Answer:
Yes, they are Black-Crowned Night Herons, but not adolescents — Juveniles.
Babes in the woods.
Sleep tight and happy migrations, my wee bairns.