Yellow-crowned Night HeronYellow-crowned Night Heron – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/350, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm at 400mm, natural light

Despite having “Night Heron” in their name Yellow-crowned Night Herons (Nyctanassa violacea) are not strictly denizens of the dark, they can and do stalk their prey during the daylight hours too. Usually they are as active during the day as they are at night. You can see one catch and stuff itself with a Ghost Crab here in broad daylight.

The day I created the image above it had been raining just before I took the photo, the moisture laden air added vibrancy to the colors.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron portraitYellow-crowned Night Heron portrait – Nikon D200, handheld, f9, 1/400, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm at 400mm, natural light

This perched Yellow-crowned Night Heron was on a branch of a dead tree and allowed me to approach closely enough to create this portrait that shows the fine detail in its salt and sand encrusted bill.

I wonder why they didn’t call them Orange-eyed Day Herons. 🙂