Thursday, September 9, 2010

Night-heron is back at Lake Ralphine

Last week I suddenly began to see and hear birds back in the woods and along the water at Howarth Park. I generally don't walk around the lake, mostly because the trail can be crowded and because I find very few fungi along that trail. But there aren't any fungi at this dry time of year and as the summer ended it seemed to be the most exciting part of the park, so I've begun or ended many of my walks with a turn around Lake Ralphine. The other day I was rewarded when I spotted a Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) hunting at the far end of the lake. There was even a shady spot for me to sit down and draw. The heron tolerated my intrusion for a while then picked his or her way into the overhanging willows and out of my view.

While visiting All About Birds to find out if it's possible to tell male night herons from female, I followed a link to some wonderful bird sketches by Maria Coryell-Martin, the September 2010 artist of the month at All About Birds.

Oh, and although All About Birds makes no mention of difference between male and female, describes the female as slightly smaller, paler and with shorter nape feathers than the male.


  1. Lucky you! I've never seen one of these herons. You captured that wary look really well - I see that a lot on wading birds when I settle down to draw...they're never quite sure of my intentions, and usually gently meander away from me!

    I like the All About Birds site, too; it's concise and pertinent information at a glance. Thank you for sharing Maria's work as well - she has done some amazing things - how I wish I could be an expeditionary artist - how cool is that?!

  2. Hi Debbie, loved your sketch and links.

  3. An excellent BCNH. I followed the link here from Tom Spurgeon's Comics Reporter site. Now I'm subscribed.