Sunday, October 5, 2014

a visit from a small heron

Monday in the late afternoon, I rounded the garage headed for the general vicinity of the ponds, turtle and water lily, that are adjacent but separated by the fence around the Little Back Yard, and startled a rather big bird. It flew into the tallow in the Little Back Yard where it stayed long enough to go fetch my camera and come back and take a few pics. Later, I looked up and noticed it was perched on the gate next to the turtle pond looking intently into the water.

It was a small heron and so after consulting the All Knowing Oracle I learned that it was a first year yellow crowned night heron. Cool.

It moved slowly towards the turtle pond and eventually got up the nerve to move to the edge of it from which position it continued to peer intently into the water.

It moved back and forth between the turtle pond and the water lily pond on the other side of the fence.

It found something to eat over there but I couldn't tell what though I don't think it got it from the small pond. They eat snails and things like that, small fish too and frogs. It drank from the water lily pond.

It returned to the gate and preened.

The next morning it was still here hanging out at the two ponds and eventually flew up into the tallow.

Later I noticed it had gone but it showed up again that evening. It was sitting on the clothesline pole just on the other side of the fence where I hung one of the oyster shell wind chimes that Jade and I made this summer. The wind chime was hanging askew so that the piece of driftwood was angled vertically. The heron would bend down and grab that driftwood with its beak and give it a good shake. Then it would intently watch the oyster shells clang around. It did that four or five times in a row and later Marc saw it doing the same thing.

After a while, it was gone and I haven't seen it since though I do sort of watch for it now around late afternoon.


  1. we've had those young ones hang around our pond a little, too. haven't ever seen them this close, though, nor playing with toys. so cute!

  2. What a great visitor to have. They can eat a lot of fish if it looks like easy pickins.

  3. What a treat. Nature sure is gifting you with some wonderful sights. Fabulous shots.

  4. Isn't it crazy and wonderful how as we age things like birds can make us so happy? To observe them, to see them doing things like fishing and preening and drinking and making the wind chime sound?
    What a joy to have such a pretty bird come along to entertain you, to spend time in your world.

  5. I love discovery-channel episodes in my back yard. You were lucky and thanks for sharing it.

  6. this is such a cool post. love the photos, thanks for sharing with us.

  7. I wonder if it hoped for a rain of oysters?

  8. Such a little cutie!

  9. Such an exotic visitor!

    All I get is a pigeon or two that I suspect are glaring my way...

  10. Cute! More Wild Kingdom!

    Don't you have goldfish in one of those ponds? I think heron will eat goldfish, carp and koi...but if there are just frogs to be had, that's OK. (Well, unless you're a frog. :) )

    I wonder why it was attracted to the oyster shells? Maybe just trying to figure out what they were.


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