Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Those Night-Herons.

Here is one of the Black-crowned Night-Herons at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary.  I have posted about them previously:

"Southern British Columbia is at the northern extreme of the Black-crowned Night-Heron's range. It is considered rare in BC, and there are only a few records of it having bred in the province, perhaps only two -- both being on Reifel Island (Campbell et al., 1990). There is a small group that winters at Reifel. The birds can sometimes be found just inside the gate on the north side of the path, or in the brush at the the edges of the first large slough."

In my experience, these birds are easy to locate but difficult to photograph.  They are always partly obscured by branches, and have their heads tucked, asleep, or pretending to be so.  After many years, I have become suspicious.  Are these birds truly alive?  Or do the staff of the sanctuary scurry about with ladders in the early morning and shift them around to provide the illusion of a vibrant, though small, population?  Shagged out after a long squawk?  I wonder.

Anyway, there are two in this picture, plus, most likely alive, a Great Blue.


Ref
Campbell, R.W., N.K. Dawe, I. McTaggert-Cowan, J.M. Cooper, G.W. Kaiser and M.C.E. McNall. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia. Vol. 1. UBC Press. 514 pp.

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