Black-crowned Night Heron

May 7, 2012 in Nearby Waterbirds

This Black-crowned Night Heron has been perching on branches just above water level on the west side of the Bashara Boathouse.  This is a juvenile Night Heron based on its plumage and coloration.  It takes 3 years for the Black-Crowned Night Heron to reach full maturity. A juvenile has yellow-orange eyes, yellow-green legs and a dark brown plumage with cream colored spots and streaks. Its belly is streaked brown and white. Immature herons are mostly brown overall with a darker head. The second year brings plumage more like the adult plumage; it will be browner with a dark cap and back and brown wings and neck.