| Story by Laura Kiran |
Among the birds that roost at Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve, the black-crowned night heron is probably one of the most curious.
Relatively moderate in size in comparison to most other heron species, the night heron stands about 2 feet tall on average. Its thick neck and short legs make for an interesting silhouette. With its head tucked tightly into its shoulders, the night heron’s body naturally looks as if it’s in a hunched position.
The bird has dark feathers on its back and head, gray plumage covering its sides and white to light gray feathers marking its chest. A quick glance can make it appear the heron has decked itself out in formal wear, donning a dark cape, a gray vest, and the famous black crown which tops its head and its name.
A social character during the day – often nesting in groups that include other bird species – this stocky creature tends to seek out solitude as evening descends and its hunting time nears.