The black crowned night heron was sitting on a log in the turtle pond down by the Bay of Quinte. How patiently he sat there watching the water.
I very quietly walked through the trees to the shore to get some closer photos. He was perched on an old tree stump in a still pond just off from the bay.
Through some Google searching I discovered that this heron is the most widespread around the world. It is most active at night feeding in the same spots as other herons. His legs are shorter than other herons, and he has two long feathers at the back of his head.
It was quite content to sit there and I got several similar photos of him perched on the stump. But as soon as he heard a very chatty group of morning walkers on the trail he took off.
I tried to follow where it went but I just wasn’t fast enough.
It was spotted another time on the turtle platform in the same pond.
The legs are yellow or yelllowish green but during mating season the legs are pinkish. Also during mating season they have 2 long white head feathers.
Look at how red the eyes are. These herons sit, without moving for ages, watching the water for an unsuspecting fish to swim by.
Patience paid off while we were watching. In a swift movement he had dipped into the water and captured some lunch.
I emailed a local birding expert, Terry Sprague, of Nature Stuff and he thinks that this one was probably just migrating through. He told me it does nest at Presqu’ile Provincial Park which is about a 40 minute drive from us.