FOS Black-crowned Night Heron

Well, it is back to the birds.  I had numerous comments that opined that maybe I was out of character with my post of the Texas Bluebonnets.  Maybe so.  I am more in my own element when I am photographing birds or wildlife.  Even though I got lucky with some flower pictures that made me a lot of money, I have always had a lot more fun making images of the avian variety.  So this morning I had a couple of hours to kill, so Ann and I made a soiree out to Middle Concho Park.

The highlight was the spotting of a Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax).  This is the first one of the season for us, arriving just about right on schedule, which is mid-April for them.   As a matter of fact, we may have witnessed the actual arrival of the first one.   He may have gotten an early flight out of Mexico City. 🙂

Black-crowned Night Heron in tree

We were just driving slowly along the shore of the Middle Concho River, when we spotted this fairly large bird come flying in and landing in a tree across on the opposite shore a little ahead of us.  I stopped the car and put the binoculars on him.  I immediately identified him as a male Black-crown Night Heron.

Black-crowned Night Heron in tree

We drove further along, so I would have a good position opposite of him on my side of the river.  I was able to put my camera on my Puffin’ Pad© and photograph him from the window of the car.  I used the Canon 7D with my 500mm f4 lens and 1.4 tele-converter.   Exposures were about 1/1250 sec. @ f6.3, -0.3EV, ISO 160.  Aperture priority.

Black-crowned Night Heron in flight

After getting several photos of him in various positions, he took wing and flew further down the river.  I was able to get a decent shot of him in flight as well.  I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did in capturing them.  During the rest of the little trip along the river, I came up with several more pictures of other birds that I will show you in the coming days.  So stay tuned. 🙂

40 thoughts on “FOS Black-crowned Night Heron

  1. This heron is just gorgeous, Bob! Ok, why do they call it a ‘night’ heron because it looks like daylight to me? Does it have something to do with the colour of the eyes or do they normally come out at night?



  2. Another new bird for me! Beautiful shots, as always Bob. Is this heron similar in size to the great blue? (that’s the only type of heron I’ve ever seen)

    • No, Karen, it about half the size of a Great Blue. Just a little larger than a Green Heron if you are familiar with that. I am glad that I could show you a new one. Thanks as always for the kind words.

  3. I think it’s funny as I read blogs from around the world how different wildlife excite us differently. The black-crowned night heron is a very common bird here, but I’d give anything to see a robin or a blue jay, common birds from my back yard in College Station, Texas. Gig ’em, Aggies1

    • The Black-crowned Night Heron is fairly common here, too. It is just fun to always see the first one of the season. It is like confirmation that spring is here. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

    • Thanks, David. He was across on the other side of the river. After I took these shots, he again landed in another tree, but got into the denser foliage. I feel lucky to get what I got.

  4. A beautiful set of images of this handsome bird, Bob. The clarity is amazing (viewers must click to see them larger) and the colours so vivid, or maybe I’m just not used to seeing green. 🙂

  5. Oh how fun. I bet you still get a little thrill each time you see a FOS bird! I get a thrill seeing your photos! I must admit, I am a “flower/scenic person” who is trying to get into your bird thing. Thanks for sharing your story with me.

  6. Bob these area fantastic! Your blue bonnets were very lovely too though. Bob, I have a recreational place upstate NY that is nestled in a valley at the base of a (not too huge) mountain.There is a decent sized pond, lots of open space, trees, etc. We’ve had many interested bird visits. This weekend however, something very unusual happened, yesterday morning a hawk came flying full-speed from the trees underneath the covered porch of our cabin and crashed into the glass doors that entrance into the living room! It was as though someone threw a basketball, full force at the window! The impact killed him right away. He bounced back and fell onto the porch. It was very sad. I don’t know what to make of it. Do you think he saw something scurry across the porch?

    • Thanks for the compliment, Karen, and the great story. I am sure that the hawk spotted some prey and went for it. They speed like a rocket. I think that maybe he saw the reflection in the glass of maybe something crawling, and went for it instead of the actual creature. Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Just superb images, of a beautiful bird – what incredible eyes! It’s an exciting time of year with these new arrivals. Looking forward to more photos!

  8. These are fantastic, Bob. The third photo makes me want to open the screen of my laptop so that it can fly out and come here. 😀

    Very nice series, loved the clarity! 🙂

    • No, really I appreciated what you had to say. Now I am glad that I was able to get some nice bird photos for you. Thanks for commenting, Julia. I appreciate it. 🙂

  9. I never even knew this bird existed. It’s magnificent! I love the Great Blue Herons we have around here. I waited a long time to see the little green one and I was thrilled when I finally did. I hope I can see one of these Night Herons some day.

  10. Great captures! I learn so much from your blog 🙂 thank you for taking the time to write about your experience photographing… I know you do every time, but just wanted to say I’m a fan! I love reading your stories. Wonderful work, Bob!

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