Last week, Ranger Kristin mentioned to me that she had again seen the immature Yellow-crowned Night-heron that was first discovered in the Wetlands on the stormy 27th on May. Night herons tend to spend most of the day sleeping away in the dense cover of trees or shrubbery, doing most of their foraging at night, so it’s reasonable that no one had seen it since then. We often only get brief glimpses of the diurnal foraging Green Heron as it flies from one favorite hunting site to another in our Wetlands.
Yesterday while investigating the northwest corner of the Wetlands with Ranger Erin and Molly from Education, we spooked the heron. It was in the water very close to shore and flew off to a willow not far away (photo above).
I hope the night heron stays with us, finds our Wetlands suitable to its tastes and comes back next year with a friend. Besides being fun to watch, when you can find them, I think perhaps a night-heron is just what we need to keep the Wetland’s crayfish in check.