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 Birds Scene: Wood Storks

Birds Scene

Old "Flint Head"

"Flint Head" is one of the old nicknames for the Wood Stork. I think this came about due to the featherless black head that easily makes this bird one of our ugliest wading birds. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which was proven in 2006 as 11,000 pairs mated and nested throughout its southeast range.


Article submitted by kathy Posted by kathy on Saturday, August 9, 2008

Read Story... | Score: 4

 Birds Scene: Night Herons

Birds Scene

Yellow-Crowned Night Herons

In summer 2007 I received a question on a bird's identity from Gulf Harbors resident, James Kaylor. He sent me the above photograph and wanted confirmation on his guess that this bird was a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. I assured him that it is a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, but it is an immature bird.

Our two Night-Heron species are fairly easy to tell apart when they are mature plumaged birds, but young birds can be very confusing. Before they get their adult feathers they can appear exactly alike. Binoculars or a photograph may be required to differentiate them. Look at their bills. A Black-crowned Night-Heron immature will have a yellow lower mandible, while the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron's bill will be all black.

As their name implies these two heron species are active at night and then roost or sleep most of the day. Although they do make rare day time appearances, like the bird Mr. Kaylor photographed.

These species of herons do have a somewhat bad reputation as predators on the chicks of other egrets and herons in their night roosts. Any nest left unattended at night risks a visit from these two species of Night-Herons.

The second photo here of an adult yellow-crowned night heron was taken poolside on Rudder Way in Gulf Harbors. Last year there was a family of two adults and baby that could be seen feeding at low tide in the evening on tiny crabs they find at water's edge. You could even hear the crunch of the crab shells!

Ken Tracey, www.westpascoaudubon.com


Article submitted by kathy Posted by kathy on Monday, August 4, 2008

Read Story... | Score: 0


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