Black-crowned Night Heron, Gilbert AZ

This secretive bird is one of my favourites, partly because it was one of the first new species I learned to recognize after taking up bird watching, and partly because it’s so striking.

It’s also difficult to photograph. Not because it’s flitty–on the contrary, it sits stock-still for what seems like hours, watching the water intently–but because during the day it conceals itself in bushes well back from the path, so it can be hard to spot. In addition, the black and white feathers give me problems with exposure.

But it’s a beautiful bird, even though I don’t get the precise pictures I want. As for getting one in flight – I’ve never seen one do more than snuggle down into the shrubbery, so that’s not even a consideration.

Night heron peering out of bush.


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