Next wader up: Yellow-crowned night heron

Photo by Chris Bosak A Yellow-crowned Night Heron in Norwalk, Conn., summer 2017.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Yellow-crowned Night Heron in Norwalk, Conn., summer 2017.

The yellow-crowned night heron resembles the black-crowned night heron (featured a few days ago) with a few differences. The yellow-crowned night heron has a skinnier neck, for one. Just like the great egret may be found on the coast or inland, while the snowy egret tends to hug the coast; black-crowned night herons are more likely to be found away from the coast than yellow-crowned night herons.

Next wader up: Snowy egret

Photo by Chris Bosak A Snowy Egret looks for food in Norwalk Harbor.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Snowy Egret looks for food in Norwalk Harbor.

Just like yesterday’s great egret photo, this photo of a snowy egret has stood the test of time. The copyright says 2015, but the photo was taken many years before that, in the Norwalk Harbor in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Snowy egrets are less likely to be seen away from the coast than great egrets, which can often be found far inland. Snowy egrets are much smaller than great egrets, as the name suggests. The photo below is pretty low in quality, but it gives you an idea of the size difference between the two. The snowy egret is on the left.

Next wader up: Great egret

Photo by Chris Bosak cGreat Egret in Central Park, NYC.
Photo by Chris Bosak Great Egret in Central Park, NYC.

I took the above photo almost 20 years ago and it’s still one of my favorites. Central Park in New York City is a great place to see and photograph birds. It’s a large green oasis among a sea of concrete and steel.

The egret below was photographed in a slightly more “wild” place: the Norwalk River.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Great Egret stands on a deck railing overlooking the Norwalk River in Norwalk, Conn., April 2016.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Great Egret stands on a deck railing overlooking the Norwalk River in Norwalk, Conn., April 2016.

Next wader up: Green heron

Green Heron in southern Connecticut, November 2013.

I find that green herons are typically difficult to photograph because they tend to be wary. On occasion, I have come across green herons that are so wrap up in finding food that they basically ignore me. Those are fun.

Photo by Chris Bosak A green heron on a railing of a walkway at Assateague Island, Maryland.

Next wader up: Black-crowned night heron

Photo by Chris Bosak A Black-crowned Night Heron looks for food in Holly Pond in Stamford in summer 2015.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Black-crowned Night Heron looks for food in Holly Pond in Stamford in summer 2015.

Yesterday I started a series of wader photos. I kicked off the series with the great blue heron, which is probably our most common and well known wader. The black-crowned night heron is not as well known, although it is fairly common along the coast and some inland waters during the summer.

Here’s what a young one looks like …

Back to the adult …

Photo by Chris Bosak A Black-crowned Night Heron perches on a railing at a marina along the Norwalk River, Norwalk, Conn., spring 2016.
Photo by Chris Bosak A Black-crowned Night Heron perches on a railing at a marina along the Norwalk River, Norwalk, Conn., spring 2016.

Reliable great blue herons

Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron in Danbury, CT, fall 2019.

Fall migration is in full swing and many of our spring and summer birds have left us already. Thankfully, we have great blue herons all year round. Most leave by the winter, but some remain with us (or try to at least) even through the most brutal seasons. It’s always a thrill to see great blue herons, or any birds for that matter, with a background of our famous New England fall foliage.

Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron in Danbury, CT, fall 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron in Danbury, CT, fall 2019.

A brief departure from New England

Photo by Chris Bosak
A tri-colored heron in Naples, Florida, April 2019.

I’m still hobbled with tendinitis in my foot so I don’t have any exciting spring migration tales to share or fresh warbler photos to post. I do, however, have a ton of photos to share from a recent trip to Florida. Sure, they are not genuine New England birds but they’re still awesome.
Savanna, Andrew and I spent last week in Florida for Andrew’s spring break. My brother recently retired to Naples and we visited Ed & Deb, as well as my niece Jessy (Ed’s daughter) & Kyle and their beautiful new daughter Raelynn. Yes, that makes me a great uncle for those scoring at home. Yikes!

There wasn’t a ton of time for bird walks, but Ed, Savanna and I did sneak in a few expeditions to the Everglades and local Naples parks. Here are some shots from the trip, jammed into one big blog post.

Back to New England later this week.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A limpkin in Naples, Florida, 2019.

Photo by Chris Bosak A white ibis in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A white ibis in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A white ibis in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A white ibis in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A brown pelican in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak An osprey in Naples, Florida, 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A little blue heron in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A limpkin in Naples, Florida, 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A green heron in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A great blue heron in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak Glossy ibis in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A young bald eagle perches in a tree in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak A common gallinule in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak An anhinga in Naples, Florida, April 2019.

And, of course …

Photo by Chris Bosak An alligator in Naples, Florida, April 2019.
Photo by Chris Bosak An alligator in Naples, Florida, April 2019.

Early nesters are at it already

Photo by Chris Bosak Great blue heron Danbury, CT, March 2019.

While we wait patiently for migrating warblers and other colorful songbirds to arrive in New England, some birds have already started the nesting process. Owls, of course, started a while ago and other birds of prey also get an early jump.

I’ve been watching great blue herons build and repair nests at a small rookery near the Danbury Fair mall. It’s funny to see these large, wild birds fly over a busy shopping mall with sticks in their bills. It is good to see, however, that they are adapting to human encroachment.

The other day I saw two mute swans and one Canada goose on nests at a small pond.

It’s an exciting time of year in the birdwatching world with nesting starting and the spring migration beginning to heat up.

Here’s an old shot I took of an osprey building its nest.

Photo by Chris Bosak An Osprey adjusts a stick in its nest at Veterans Park in Norwalk, Conn., April 29, 2015.

For the Birds: Sights and sounds of a fall canoe ride

Photo by Chris Bosak
A great blue heron perches on one leg in a tree in Brookfield, Conn., during the fall of 2018.

Here’s the latest For the Birds column, which runs in several New England newspapers.

….

The fall drawdown on large New England lakes can make it a challenge to launch a canoe. The shoreline is often soupy and mucky, making it a dirty and dicey proposition to get in a quick paddle.

A little dirt and muck have never deterred me, however, especially when the possibility of good duck watching lies ahead. Such was the case last week when I braved the Lake Lillinonah shoreline in southwestern Connecticut to launch my canoe. Lillinonah is considered a lake because of its width, but it is really part of the Housatonic River.

Thankfully, it hadn’t rained in a few days so much of the shoreline was hardened mud. It got muckier the closer I got to the water, but I was able to leave the tail end of the canoe out far enough that my feet only sunk down about 2 or 3 inches before jumping in.

The bottom of the canoe’s interior was smeared with mud, but what the heck; it’s a canoe, a little dirt won’t hurt it. I lifted up my butt, dug in the paddle and pushed off hard. I was on my way and instantly felt the cares of the world disappear as I glided over the glassy water, surrounded by New England’s famous fall colors.

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