Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned night heron at Wilde Lake. I had spent several days looking for this particular heron (BCNH for short) at Wilde Lake at varying times hoping to at least get a view. They tend to be hard to spot during the day as they hide, spending more time out in morning and dusk. On May 29, another fellow birder messaged me on Facebook to let me know the BCNH was at the north end of the lake very visible at 8 AM. Throughout the day I checked on what was being seen by others and noticed people were still able to photograph it in the same location in the afternoon. My husband came home from work early so I could drive over and attempt to look for it.

I did a quick scan of the shore and saw it (in plain sight) hanging on a branch a ways down from the initial reports. I was able to walk over within feet of it and take shots for about 10 minutes before it flew back up the lake. When I arrived at it's new location several minutes later, it flew to where it was initially seen that morning. I stayed for an hour photographing it, though it did get hard as it was hunting in low hanging brush. I was unable to get good shots at that point but did attempt as best as I could. It did catch one fish while I was watching. A great blue heron flew in and managed to get the BCNH back up in the tree while it hunted nearby. It flew off some time later where I lost sight of it. Someone had spotted it at the opposite end of Wilde Lake at the dam a couple hours later.

Lens - Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD @ 400mm on Nikon D5500