Just hanging out with the visitors

I’ve written several previous posts about the wonderful Yellow-crowned Night Herons we have in our local preserves. At this time of year, these special birds like to frequent a small wooded area along the boardwalk.

At first, you might not see any, as they are amazingly well-camouflaged. But little by little, they come into view, and you may soon realize there are five or six adults and juveniles, all hiding high up in the cypress branches.

IMG_5960I came upon this juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron , standing right out in the open, on the railing. Some egrets and herons commonly stand along the boardwalk and aren’t bothered by people passing, but Night Herons are usually more reticent. Not this little guy – he didn’t seem to care a bit as I came closer and closer.IMG_5954In fact, to tell the truth, he actually seemed to want to socialize!  He looked this way and that, and stayed right in the same spot, for many long minutes, totally comfortable in my presence. IMG_5958Lucky for me, I happened to be the only human around for quite a while.
IMG_5961I was sure he’d take flight at any moment, but – on the contrary – he just started to chat! 😉IMG_5971After awhile, he tilted his head, and I sensed that maybe there was someone behind my on the boardwalk. I turned my head slightly to discover that a couple of people were politely waiting, so as not to pass me and disturb my picture-taking.IMG_5970I couldn’t help but smile when the juvie Yellow-crowned Night Heron leaned way over to peek around me to get a better look at the newcomers!  I assured the new people that I had plenty of shots, and they should feel free to walk past me. Besides,  if he took off, maybe I’d get a flight shot!IMG_5974We all were sure the young Heron would fly away once the newcomers passed by. But not this fellow – he turned and started strolling right along with them, at their pace, as they headed down the boardwalk!IMG_5973As they walked on, I overheard the woman ask the Heron if he wanted to fly, but he seemed to be saying, “No, I’ll actually just saunter along right here next to you, thanks!”

To read more interesting info about these wonderful birds, be sure to check out:   Audubon Yellow-crowned Night Heron and All About Birds, Yellow-crowned Night Heron

9 thoughts on “Just hanging out with the visitors

    • I was surprised that he seemed so relaxed. As I mentioned in the post, many of our birds (e.g., tricolored herons, cormorants) are quite comfortable sitting on the boardwalk as people walk right by. Others (e.g., Snowy Egrets) are much more skittish and fly off when you get close. I never expected this Night Heron to stay there so long – he genuinely seemed to enjoy the company of humans.


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