Juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron At Reid Park
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I’m back from a short trip for some mandatory continuing legal education. Frankly, I’d rather be doing this blog than studying some arcane regulations and laws. It isn’t even close, folks.
Last week I posted images of a Black-crowned Night Heron that I’d photographed at Reid Park in urban Tucson. I was back at the park recently. The adult was still there, but in addition, there was a juvenile bird. Juvenile Black-crowned Night Herons are quite different in appearance from the adult birds. Whereas the adults are a combination of navy blue or black, gray, and white, the juveniles are bedecked in beige with white accents.
Adult Black-crowned Night Herons have ruby red eyes. The juveniles have burnt orange eyes.
I had no problems photographing this bird. It is so inured to the presence of humans that I was within three feet of it at times and it ignored me. Like its adult counterpart, it was focused intently on the water, looking for any small aquatic creature that might wander within striking range.
As far as it was concerned, I didn’t exist. That’s what living among a horde of walkers, cyclists, children throwing bread crumbs, pets on leashes, skateboarders, and romantic couples will do. Some might think that taking photos of wildlife under these conditions is hardly sporting. That’s certainly true, but on the other hand, I was able to capture detail in these images that normally I’d just dream about getting. I was also able to photograph my subject engaging in casual behavior that a more wary bird would never engage in with a photographer only a few feet away.
Such as this image of the juvenile scratching an itch.
Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 ISII zoom lens, aperture priority setting, all images shot at ISO 400. The first image, f5 @ 1/1250. The second image, f8 @ 1/400. The third image, f8 @ 1/500.