Monday, July 20, 2009

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

This Yellow-crowned Heron was wading in the shallows looking for food when I spotted him during low tide in the Safety Harbor Marina in Safety Harbor, FL.

Yellow-crowned Herons are not nearly as common as Black-crowned Herons in this area. Yet, I've seen many more Yellow-crowned than Black-crowned Herons. It is pretty easy to tell the difference between the two. The Yellow-crowned Heron has a white or yellow crown with a white stripe just under his eye. The Black-crowned Heron has a black crown, but the rest of his face is white. They are about the same size and their feeding habits are similar. They are both active during the evening and night hours as their name suggests. Both are resident in Florida.

Since they both are active during the night, it's always a treat to see them during the day. This one was spotted just after sunset. Unlike the Black-crowned Heron, this species preys mainly on crabs and crayfish and they tend to be loners, not nesting with other Herons.
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