As I turned a corner on a recent walk, I was surprised by this juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron above, sitting on a branch so close I could almost imagine reaching out to touch him!
We have two different Night Herons here in southeast Florida, the Black-crowned and the Yellow-crowned Night Herons. The juveniles can be difficult to tell apart, but their bills and plumage provide clues, even at this age. Night Herons can be hard to spot in the daytime – they’re good at hiding in the trees or standing quietly at the water’s edge, coming out at dusk to forage. A few minutes later, I crossed paths with a completely different member of the Heron Family. This sleek adult Green Heron was sitting right out in the open on the railing (as they often do). Its distinctive coloring and small size distinguish it from other Herons. The Green Heron is shorter and more ‘squat’ – only about the size of a crow – but always manages to look handsome – very photogenic!
If you’re wondering just “What is a heron, anyway?”, check out this post at 10,000 Birds, an awesome online site.
FYI . . .A wonderful resource for comparing similar birds, such as these, can be found on All About Birds!