Dean M. Chriss
Yellow Crowned Night Heron, Juvenile, South Florida

Yellow Crowned Night Heron, Juvenile, South Florida

(Click image to enlarge)

With a length of about about 24" (61 cm) and a wingspan of about 44 inches, yellow-crowned night herons (Nyctanassa violacea) are small herons. The juvenile shown in this image looks nothing like the adult bird. Yellow-crowned night herons are found throughout a large part of the Americas, especially in warmer coastal regions. In warmer locations some are permanent residents while others migrate to Central America and the West Indies. They may occasionally wander north to the lower Great Lakes or Ontario after the breeding season.

This image shows a juvenile yellow-crowned night heron waiting for an early morning meal at low tide in a quiet cove. Wading birds are often most active at low tide because the shallow water gives them access to more food, and nearly all birds are most active in the mornings and evenings. The best possible time for viewing is when low tide occurs during the first or last hours of daylight, as was the case when this image was captured.