Black-Crowned Night Herons are not rare visitors to Metro Vancouver, but only a handful of adults plus one or two juveniles are seen from fall through spring, sleeping the day away at the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island. Interestingly, we did spot an adult in a tree in the Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area earlier this year (currently the only recorded sighting of a BCNH outside of Reifel).
an adult BCNH getting ready for a full night of foraging
f/8, 1/800, 500mm, ISO 250
The striking red eyes of the adults (juveniles have pale yellow eyes) distinguish them from their larger, more ubiquitous cousin, the Great Blue Heron. They are called Night Herons because of their nocturnal natures; it was unusual and serendipitious to get the individual in the photo above with its eyes open. Photographed on December 29, 2015.
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