Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Subadult Black-crowned Night Heron Is Greeted by a Green Heron Adult

                                                        Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 1

                                                      Black-crowned Night Heron (Left)
                                                            Adult Green Heron (Right)

                                                              Bleck-crowned Night-Heron

                                                                      Green Heron Adult

                                                         Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 1

                                                                Mallard Ducklings

                                                                 Green Heron Adult

                                                            Black-crowned Night Heron


                                                        Green Heron Juvenile, Clutch 1

                                                 Juvenile yellow-shafted Northern Flickers
                                                                            at play

Week of 07-10-17 to Present

A subadult Black-crowned Night-Heron came to visit this week, which I assume was last year's
second summer bird.  I believe this bird had been born on Goose Island two years ago, as the Green Herons evicted an adult from trying to breed at that time.  The night-heron clan is sometimes known to eat the eggs of other herons, which causes them consternation, so they generally will not allow them any real estate in many heronries.

Sometimes the Black-crowned Night-Heron will nest in the same tree with ibises, and occasionally they will be accepted by other herons.  They also don't discriminate against the birds in other nests and have been known to brood nests not their own.  Young birds will disgorge their stomachs if disturbed, quite like vultures, who do so at any age.

After a couple of days, an adult Green Heron came face-to-face with this subadult night-heron.  They both appeared quite surprised at the encounter and managed to remain quite close for a good fifteen minutes before Green Heron left the area.  I did my best to record the event, since our colony usually drives them away.  Evidently, the adult Green Heron felt that the night-heron meant no harm.

It is possible that the night heron has left Heron Cove, as I have not seen it there for a couple of days.

It was a nice visit, while it lasted.  Prior to the bird making its appearance on Monday morning, it was under the main nest tree on the west bank of the cove.  Since night-herons don't care for bright sunlight, it never stayed long in the mornings.  They usually tend to do much better at pre-dawn or twilight, retiring in the shadows.

There are still plenty of young birds all over the lake, including these two young Northern Flickers, who displayed their yellow shafts the entire time that I was in their presence.  They did the jousting play ritual, which is quite common for the species.