Black-crowned Night-Heron: Dr. J. Murray Speirs

As the name implies these are birds of crepuscular habits, becoming active as night begins to set in and hiding from view as the dawn brightens.

Black-crowned Night-Heron

They are gregarious nesters, usually at lower elevations than the Great Blue Herons, but sometimes in the same heronry.

Black-crowned Night-Heron

At Pelee I found them in a grove of hackberry trees, but frequently see them in old willow trees.

Black-crowned Night Heron

The adults of this medium-sized, rather squatty heron are quite distinctive with their black back, white underparts and light gray wings.

Black-crowned Night-Heron

At close range, the bright red eyes and white plumes dangling from the black crown are striking features.

Black-crowned Night-Heron

The young, especially in flight, might be confused with the American Bittern, but are a dull, gray-brown rather than rich yellowish-brown of the bittern, which shows much contrast between the almost black wing tips and pale brown of the rest of the wing.

Black-crowned Night-Heron

The shorter, less-pointed bill of the night-heron contrasts with the long, dagger-like bill of the bittern.

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Dr. J. Murray Speirs

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