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Night Flight of the Night Heron

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. —Mary Oliver

Always a welcoming sight in our wetlands, the Black-crowned Night Heron appears at dusk, ready for a night of marauding. I encountered this juvenile taking flight from deep within the wetland’s waters — I barely saw him, just his movement, since his camouflage was so perfect against the wetland’s vegetation in the setting sun. There’s so much that can be missed, if you’re not looking….

Black-crowned Night Heron (Juvenile) in Flight, Green Cay Wetlands

Perfect camouflage in the Florida Wetlands

29 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nature’s nocturnal beauty. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    February 15, 2013
    • Ah, that’s just PERFECT! Love that… Love it! 🙂

      February 15, 2013
  2. gorgeous! the night herons are so loud right now in this nesting season!

    February 15, 2013
    • Thanks so much! Ah, we don’t have as many as you… There are plenty here, but not so many as to create that kind of cacophony. 🙂

      February 15, 2013
      • yes, i continue to be amazed at the birdlife.. i walked in from the road last night (after dinner with friends) and lingered outside beneath the waxing moon and carl-sagan sky.. ah, so lovely! z

        February 16, 2013
  3. I find one of the interesting things about early and late day pictures of the wetland and swamps is the amount of purples in the scenes. I never seem to be so conscious of that visually as I notice the greens much more on site. I do love those muted purples, sages,and browns.

    February 15, 2013
    • You’re so perceptive… Such an artist!! That’s why I love this shot so much. It’s technically not great — not good at all, really. But it captures the colors and feel of the falling night in the wetlands so well for me. LOVE those colors, the purples and the greens….

      February 15, 2013
  4. It’s great you’re paying attention to the night flights and behaviours. There is so much we don’t know about the night and how it affects species.

    February 15, 2013
    • It’s amazing how much happens as the sun sets… SO much! And in our area, with all the vegetation (please preserve! Please protect!), so much can be missed. It’s an amazing time — and as another blogger / photographer mentions, one with the most wondrous colors. 🙂

      February 15, 2013
  5. Good timing and a terrific shot! We appreciate you’re out there and paying attention so we can vicariously enjoy the results!

    February 15, 2013
    • Thanks so much! I realize it’s not the best shot, but it captures the approaching nightfall — and the colors — of our wetlands so well, I had to include. Plus, I love our night herons. 🙂

      February 15, 2013
  6. Perfect timing – such great camouflage that it’s easy to miss!

    February 16, 2013
    • It was one of those whipping-of-the-camera-action, when I heard him…. Because I sure didn’t see him! 🙂 So wonderful.

      February 20, 2013
  7. I love Mary Oliver and you post..Michelle

    February 16, 2013
    • Thanks so very much! I’m with you… I adore Mary Oliver.

      February 20, 2013
  8. The juvenile night herons are ones I can recognize. And my goodness – do I love them! I’ve thought of going down to our nature preserve at dusk to see what I can see – although, given the tracks I’ve seen, I may be a little cautious. Deer are fine. Bobcats? Not so much – although I’m sure they’re no more interested in running into me than I am of stumbling over them.

    February 17, 2013
  9. How interesting. I didn’t even know there was a Night Heron. Stunning shot.

    February 20, 2013
  10. That’s a great picture! What hardware and settings did you use to capture your heron?

    February 23, 2013
    • Thanks so much! I use a Canon 7D, and the ISO was pumped WAY up — the sun was nearly completely gone, and I refuse to use a flash out there… I don’t want to disturb the animals, this is their home. Besides that? Whipping the camera out that a frantic lunatic when I caught a glimpse of this guy’s camouflage FAR out in the wetlands. 🙂

      February 24, 2013
      • I upgraded to a Canon 7D last year and I absolutely love it! How do you get on yours?

        February 25, 2013
      • Ah, same here! Love it! I believe I got mine in the Summer…. I do have some issues with the focus, though — it’s not as crisp as I would like (I guess that’s a common issue with the 7D). But it’s a GREAT camera for my hikes — I don’t regret a penny of its investment!!

        February 25, 2013
      • That’s interesting, what lens are you using? I’ve got the Canon 100-400mm L series zoom and I haven’t noticed a problem with the focus yet. Is it worse in murkier conditions?

        February 28, 2013
      • Oh la la, I don’t have that lens (although I would love to get one, one day) — but I’m referring to the camera itself. It’s not quite as sharp as I would have expected, and I’ve heard similarly from others. But s’ok — I still love it, of course!!!

        February 28, 2013
      • And you get some great results with it, your heron is a great photograph especially as it was dark and the ISO was cranked right up.

        February 28, 2013
      • Thanks!! I was shocked it came out, truth be told, due to the high ISO and the fact that I was literally whipping the camera around when I realized what I was seeing, far out in the wetlands. I sure wish I had YOUR lens though! Soon, perhaps, soon (I always have faith)…. 🙂

        February 28, 2013
  11. Great shot! (They all are.)

    February 26, 2013
    • Thank you! This was one of those lucky whip-the-camera-around shots… 🙂

      February 27, 2013

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