Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron stalking preyJuvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron stalking prey – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/750, IDO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 230mm, natural light

I enjoy watching birds and observing their behaviors every bit as much as I do photographing them. Watching and taking images of this juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron was no exception. I had been photographing it on the west side of a tidal lagoon at Fort De Soto’s north beach then I moved over to the east side of the lagoon to photograph some White Ibis in that area though I kept watching this immature¬†heron as it made its way towards me.crabs in the Spartina and grasses of the shoreline. I was sitting very in the grasses partially hidden by the height of the Spartina and the heron didn’t seem at all alarmed or bothered by my presence and it soon came very close to me.

Immature Yellow-crowned Night Heron with a crabImmature Yellow-crowned Night Heron with a crab – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 260mm, natural light

The young Yellow-crowned Night Heron moved very slowly and it seemed to do that deliberately. It would take a step, stop and then move its head side to side while looking for crabs in the Spartina and grasses of the shoreline. I was sitting very in the grasses partially hidden by the height of the Spartina and the heron didn’t seem at all alarmed or bothered by my presence and it soon came very close to me.

I watched as the juvie Yellow-crowned caught and ate several crabs that it found in the vegetation until it moved away from me. The memory of this moment in time with this young heron still makes me smile.

Mia