Saturday, June 23, 2007

Life Bird #273 Today!

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

I apologize for the poor quality of these photos. I know it isn't what you all have come to expect from the good birding sites out here on the 'Net. I'm so excited by seeing these birds that I have to share them with you, and these are the best of a bad lot of pictures, so bear with me.

This is a Yellow-crowned Night Heron nest, and it is in a sycamore tree in a suburban area of Columbus, Ohio. There were a total of 5 chicks in this nest, with another nearby.

Yellow-crowned Night Herons are listed as threatened in Ohio, and breeding pairs are especially rare. We are on the extreme northern limits of their range. Dayton (along the Great Miami River) and Columbus (near the Scioto) are the only two known places to find colonies. They are messy nesters and the directions to this site said "Look for obvious guano," so it is amazing to me that Yellow-crowned Night Herons have been nesting in the upscale Columbus neighborhood of Bexley for 11 years. The residents not only tolerate their avian neighbors, but also the birders who flock to their quiet street to see the rarities. Thank you, Bexley-ites, for putting up with both of us!

One of 5 juvenile Night Herons I saw today. The young are branching, like owlets do - moving around in the nest, walking out a bit on the
supporting branches, flapping their wings and hopping around, then returning to the safety of the nest. Soon, they will fly, and Bexley residents can wash off their streets and sidewalks for another year.


KGMom said...

Well, you got the photo--so no apology necessary.

Mary said...

Hey, it's something to celebrate. The photos are good enough! A night heron would be one of several hundred lifers for me and I've posted photos way beyond bad quality.

You did good.

Susan Gets Native said...

Show off.

But hey! Hooray for Bexley! It's refreshing to see an uppity neighborhood embracing birds instead of shooting them out of the trees.

Jayne said...

How special! Blurry or not, they are wonderful!