Audubon Bird of the Week

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

Audubon observed this heron in Florida, the Keys, and Galveston Island.  He recounts of one of the encounters: “One which was killed by my friend Edward Harris, Esq., on the 19th of April, 1837, on an island in the Bay of Terre Blanche, about 4 o’clock in the evening, was, when opened next morning, found to have swallowed a terrapin, measuring about an inch and a half in length, by one in breadth. It was still alive, and greatly surprised my companions as well as myself by crawling about when liberated.”

In the summer, these herons breed in the Southern states along the Gulf Coast, arriving near New Orleans in March.  Unfortunately, one of the first wildlife victims of the British Petroleum oil spill was a yellow-crowned heron.


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