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Vol. LXI, No. 12
June 12, 2009

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Yellow-Crowned Night Herons Call Stream Home

Photos: Eleanor Hoff

Photo of a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

NIDDK health science policy analyst Dr. Eleanor Hoff recently took photos of the yellow-crowned night herons that live along the NIH stream.

“They appear in mid-spring—I usually see them starting in April,” she reports. “Usually I see just one, rarely I see two at once. Last year, I also saw a juvenile. They are quiet and relatively shy, though they tolerate my presence. They have gray bodies, red eyes and a yellowish-white crown with a long skinny feather(s) that usually lies flat and back, but perks up like Alfalfa’s hair when they do something super active. Oh, and despite the name, they are active during the day–I see them at lunchtime.”

Hoff took these photos recently at a stretch of the stream between MLP-10 and Wilson Dr. “The first (r) is a typical photo of the heron hanging out on a rock. The second (top) is a rare shot of him/her flying—flew right over my head! The third photo (far r) [shows] the heron feeding; the creature in the heron’s mouth is a crayfish.”

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