Babes in the Woods

Juvenile Night Heron. close up.

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.

And here they are abed and asleep. Three wee juvenile night herons, plus what looks to be a Cattle Egret, taking rest in this moat-protected rookery.

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