A Woman Who Cried Heron and started a mad dash to the metro

Occasionally the President comes to town to give a stump speech. Sometimes young heartthrob actors from the latest tween movie make publicity appearances at the Mall of America. More reliably and regrettably, the Yankees make their annual visit to Target Field. Yet none of these is a reason that any self-respecting person would drop everything and head to the Cities.

But this is.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

News of this Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was a huge jolt of life to the Minnesota birding scene that was just beginning to emerge from the summer birding doldrums with the onset of migration. Like the bird’s head, the report of the state’s first YCNH since 2012 was bold and shocking. Like its intricately patterned, two-toned back and wings, the announcement was subtle and smartly crafted. With a picture of the Heron above, Laura Segala announced her phenomenal discovery on FB:

Today – First time I’ve ever seen a yellow-crowned night heron in my yard (Plymouth – Hennepin Co). Or ever. #lifer

And why would a YCNH not want to live here?

IMG_5511The two large backyard ponds and connecting channel had many shady, reclusive haunts and corners from the overgrown vegetation along the banks. And there were enough large snails and crayfish around for Herons to have a “Chubby Bunny” contest too.

Yellow-crowned Night-HeronThe announcement came in early enough in the evening that those lucky Twin Cities birders could swarm it immediately.  My trip was too far to get there before dark.  I was there the next day, though. Conveniently I had to go to the Cities that day anyway. Inconveniently, the time of day was wrong and the bird did not come out.  So I made the 1.5 hour trek again the following day, only this time in the evening when the bird had been showing.  It took nearly two hours of waiting, but just as I was about to call it quits, the bird flew in from its treetop roost to begin its foraging.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

And for the first time ever, this birder also experienced the rush of seeing a Heron.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

6 thoughts on “A Woman Who Cried Heron and started a mad dash to the metro

    • Thanks Rich. That Heron has been quite accommodating–first that it shows up here in Minnesota and second that it parades in front of us without a care.

      Nice video.

  1. Now if only we could figure out where it hides during the daylight hours! Lots of us have searched high and low for its roosting spot. It doesn’t seem like it is THAT well camouflaged. There are a lot of ponds around here – I wonder if it goes off to a different one during the day.

    • Indeed it would be fun to solve the mystery, but the views would undoubtedly be a letdown. You can’t beat those evening showings out in the open and up close.

      Thanks again for the bird and congrats on a stellar find!

      So, what are you going to find for an encore, Laura? Little Blue Heron perhaps?

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