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Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Photo Information
Copyright: Ken Slade (Ken52) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT), Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Exposure: f/8, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-08-21 15:27
Viewed: 5615
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is the juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron. His colors will change significantly when he reaches adulthood. Something in the distance caught his attention and he stretched his neck so much to see, that he nearly lost his balance. I was surprised how close I was able to get to him (until I sneezed and he flew away).

I am posting two additional photos in WORKSHOP. Please take a look.

One is the adult so you can see the color difference.

The other is the juvenile in his natural habitat. I enjoy seeing subjects in their natural habitat and I would love to see more photos posted that way. Close-ups and macros are nice… especially for identification purposes. But in nature photography we put so much emphasis on showing a detailed close-up of our subjects that, I think sometimes we loose sight of how beautiful they can be when we show them in their natural surroundings.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)

The yellow-crowned night heron is a short, stocky wading bird about 24 inches in length with a wingspan of a little under four feet. It has long yellow to orange legs, red eyes, a black bill, and a short neck. It has a slate gray body, a black head with a white streak on the side of its face and a yellowish-white crown. In breeding season it has a yellow plume of feathers on its head. Males and females look alike. Immature yellow-crowned night herons are a mottled grayish-brown.

The yellow-crowned night heron breeds from southern New England south to Florida and west to Texas. It also breeds along the Mississippi River. It winters on the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts.

The yellow-crowned night heron lives in wooded swamps, fresh and saltwater marshes and thickets.

The yellow-crowned night heron forages for food both in the day and at night. Most of the yellow-crowned night heron's diet is made up of crustaceans like crabs and crayfish. It sometimes eats fish, eels, mussels, frogs, tadpoles, aquatic insects, snails, and small snakes. It either stands and waits for its prey to swim by or wades in the shallow water and slowly stalks its prey.

Life Cycle:
The female lays three to five eggs on a nest of sticks placed in a tree or sometimes on the ground. Both the male and female build the nest and incubate the eggs. The eggs hatch in about three weeks. Both parents care for the chicks and feed them regurgitated food. The chicks fledge when they are about 25 days old.

The yellow-crowned night heron is more solitary than other herons. It prefers to nest separately from other birds.

Source: http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/yellowcrownednightheron.htm

Aperture = f8.0
Shutter = 1/400s
ISO = 200
Focal Length = 165mm
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens

jaycee, eqshannon, Argus, JoseMiguel, maurydv, Kaszek, nglen, Evelynn, soccer, Alex99, Tamrock has marked this note useful
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Workshopjaycee 2 08-21 18:28
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-08-21 17:23]

Hi Ken,

I guess I've never seen a juvenile of this species. He reminds me so much of our Roadrunner - same colors and a similar expression. Love the pose as he's ready to take off. Wonderful natural colors, details and composition.


Hi Ken.
Wonderful image, great exposure, colour and detail. I enjoy the soft background environment to give him perspective in his surroundings.
You do get that 'ooops' feeling watching him. Caught and captured beautifully.


Gee Ken that is a super image...Real tight in and clear. It gives life to the bird. Fantastic camera skills here. Looks like you got it just as you saw it on the viewfinder..Very cool.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-08-21 22:12]

Hello Ken,
A superb close capture of a fledgeling Yellow-crowned Night Heron in a great pose with fine sharpness and it stands out well against the OOF natural BG from this fine POV.
TFS this excellent image,

Hi Ken,
Excellent capture of this juvenile heron.
It's very good the pose got, stretched, showing us all its plumage.
Is good to appreciate the differences with a mature one.
Good work including the ones on the workshop.
Best regards,

Ciao ken,
splendido momento di cattura, eccellenti POV e composizione con la bellissima postura, ottima nitidezza, molto belli i colori mimetici di questo giovane airone della notte americano molto simile (più dell'adulto) al giovane di nitticora comune.
TFS. Maurizio

beautiful capture, really sharp and impressive, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-08-21 23:44]

Hi Ken,

A nice capture and in a rather unusual pose,well seen and captured with good POV,sharpness is excellent,tfs this punkbird


Hello Ken,
Very good shot of juvenile Heron. Superb sharpness, POV and exposure.

hello ken,
nice shot of Yellow-crowned Night Heron, i liked the pose very much, the image is sharp and the details are amazing,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-08-22 11:54]

Hi Ken. this young one looks like he is about to fly or jump for the first time. Thsi is a great capture with a good pose. You ave fine detail and natural colours. I like the way the eye stands out. well done TFS. Good notes too.

Have a good weekend.

This heron looks like it is at that "awkward adolescent" stage: : ) It is a nice sharp image and the pose/action add so much to the impact of the image.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-08-23 7:21]

Hello Ken,
a very sharp and great clarity shot. Real ly full of expression especially in the yes. Great blurred background makes this birds look outstanding.
Lovely trigo composition.


Been away, but back now.
Wow. the action in this shot is very good. Great speed setting and timing. Sharp focus!


Very well composed pic of an unusual sunject. The Sharpness and detail of the subject are great! The OOF BG, DOF and POV also add value to your pic.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-11-11 8:54]

Hi Ken.
Superb picture of a very expressive scene. You managed to freeze this attractive moment perfectly. Sharpness and details of the bird are ultimate as well as lighting and colours. I also like wonderful DIF and well detailed and at the same time nicely blurred BG. Bravo.

hi ken!
nice one with the fine bird in a great pose!
good work!

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