Jovial Black-crowned Night Herons


I can’t say for sure that they are jovial, but these Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), seem to be enjoying themselves.  A couple of the images look like they are laughing, and I haven’t even told one of my corny jokes yet.  Anyway, I have been culling images since it is cold and windy around here today.  There are many species of Herons besides my favorite, the Great Blue.  The Black-crowned is probably my second best favorite.

Except for the image of the juvenile standing in a pool of water, the rest were all taken in Knoville, Tennessee on the Tennessee River.  Ann and I were visiting a dear friend of mine there, and she and her husband took us there.  There must have been nearly one hundred of the herons flying all over the place.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron - juvenile

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron - juvenile

Black-crowned Night Heron

I used my Canon 7D and 500mm lens mounted on a tripod with a Wimberley II Gimbal head, for all of the shots except for the juvie 2nd from top.  A litle story about that particular image.

Ann and I were driving slowly down River Drive, along the Concho River here in San Angelo.  Near the Irving Street crossing there is a low-water crossing and a small dam.  I spotted the juvenile, and at first I thought it was a Green Heron.  Anyway, it was close enough that I could use my 100-400mm lens.  I had to walk down a steep embankment of about 8 feet.  The path that I took was hard-packed sandy dirt.  I started to slide, right into a huge mesquite tree growing into the bank of the river.  The tree stopped me from going into the river.  I sure know how to make my life exciting. 🙂

But as my other photographic friends, like Mia McPherson, can attest, sometimes a guy has to get a little down and dirty.

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23 thoughts on “Jovial Black-crowned Night Herons

  1. Great Photographs Bob! I really like Herons – they are such majestic birds! Was the place you saw all the Herons together a sanctuary? I ask because on a day trip to Dublin (thirsting for some Guinness) in Southern Ireland, the train that was taking us from the ferry at Dun Laoghaire to the city passed a Heron Sanctuary. It was quite a reasonably small area of land but there were hundreds of the Herons – it was a stunning sight!

    Cheers

    John

    • Thanks, John, for the great comment. I don’t know if it was a sanctuary, but I do think it was some kind of park. It was several years ago. When I visit or talk to my friend there again, I’ll try to remember to ask.

  2. Bob, your last sentence has me giggling! Yes, we do need to get “down & dirty” at times as bird photographers. Really glad you didn’t end up in the water and that you and your gear are okay. I do love the story you wrote about getting the image of the juvenile. Lovely photos, I especially like the top one.

    • Hi, Mia. I’m glad that gave you a little chuckle. I noticed that you don’t have any qualms about “getting down and dirty, and wet, and muddy. That’s how you are getting such wonderful photos. At my age though, I have to be a bit more careful. Mainly, if I get down, I have to make sure that someone is close in case I can’t get up. BTW, I hope you noticed the link to your site. The color of my text sometimes blends in with the link. Thanks for the comments on my photos, too, Mia.

      • Bob, I did notice the link to my site, thank you so much for doing that. Yep, I am a little like a flounder, I’ll flop down onto the ground whenever I am near water & birds, then crawl through the sand like a fiddler crab. I’ve gotten some very strange looks at times!

        • You may have gotten strange looks, but I know that getting low can really produce some exceptional images. I’ve got a few sand burrs in my vest a few times. 🙂

      • The second one looks very similar to the green heron I see during the summer. The stance is identical!

        I still felt badly thinking how nerve wracking it was if Ann did have to see your rapid tumble out of her arm’s reach! I’m pretty sure it was a good adrenaline rush for you to fall down too. (:

        • The juvies are very similar to the Green Heron. In fact, I was sure that it was what it was, until I corrected by some experts on the subject.

          As for Ann and my almost wet tumble, she didn’t see it. She was in the car and watching something else. But it did make me think twice about taking chances since then. 🙂

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