Since I moved to Utah I have never been able to get as close to Black-crowned Night Herons like I was able to approach this bird in Florida. We have them here, I’ve photographed them but because they are not as habituated to people in Utah they are far more difficult to approach without flushing the herons.
This Black-crowned Night Heron was roosting on a mangrove branch in a small rookery near a seabird sanctuary on the Gulf coast. Because the birds there are used to people I was able to get close enough to this heron to create some nice portraits of it.
Black-crowned Night Herons are common and widespread throughout North America and are usually the most active at night. They feed on fish, crustaceans, mollusks, insects and being opportunistic they also feed on the eggs and chicks of colonial nesting birds. Pretty convenient since they are also colonial nesters.
I find Black-crowned Night Herons to be very photogenic though because of the contrasts between the whites, darks and the beautiful red eye that they can be a challenge to expose properly.
I sure love the great view of this Black-crowned Heron’s eye.