A Year on Clear Lake-Apr 13, 2013

New Arrival–April 13, 2013

Another  new bird–the black crowned night heron. He’s a beauty, too. I love the markings–black, white and gray with yellow legs–and that strong, powerful beak. Beautiful.

I do wonder how these birds find this small stretch of lake? And where are they when they are not here? But maybe even more interesting than that is what shows up when I’m not here? I only get to venture down this way for a short period of time each day, and yet on many days I am lucky enough to be here when a new bird arrives. But what shows up the rest of the day? It could be like Grand Central Station.  I’d love to spend the day watching. No telling what shows up.

The black-crowned night heron is one of the most common in the United States, maybe the world. It breeds on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Other interesting facts: it does not stab its prey, but rather grabs it and swallows it whole, and if it is too ambitious and its prey is too large it can choke; adults don’t recognize their own young and will accept and brood others’ young. The young are also known to regurgitate their food onto intruders when disturbed–that would be a deterrent to me.