Photo Break: Black-crowned night heron

Birdblogging with back-to-back night herons. Same genus, different crowns. Story behind the photo below the break.

Black-crowned night heron

Black-crowned night heron

There were many years during which I was convinced the entire Sanibel population of black-crowned night herons was conspiring to avoid me. I saw my first one when I was a kid (probably about twelve or fifteen), when I was with my parents at the supermarket and one jumped up from the undergrowth and yapped incessantly at some loitering snowy egrets. Loved the sight of it, and bless him, he stood there for a couple of minutes so we could just stare at each other for a short while.

Good thing we did, too, because I didn’t see another one for more than a quarter century. My parents would regale me all those years with tales of the many black-crowned night herons they happened upon, while I’d grit my teeth with steam hissing quietly out of my ears wondering where the hell they’d all gone.

In the last few years, however, they seem to have returned with a vengeance, because now I’m seeing them everywhere. I suppose whatever slight the species suffered during that encounter in my tween years has hit its statute of limitations, and they’ve finally decided to let it go.

This one was lounging in the mangroves off the Bailey Tract at the Ding. Dunno why, but recently I’ve been getting some of my best shots there. Looking back over previous Photo Break posts, it doesn’t look as though I’ve posted many of them yet…I’ll fix that dreadful oversight in the next few weeks.

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