[Tweeters] Black-crowned Night-Heron subspecies

Wayne Weber contopus at telus.net
Sat Jan 26 00:35:18 PST 2013


There are 4 subspecies of the Black-crowned Night-Heron, but all of those in
North and Central America, and most of those in South America, belong to the
same subspecies. So if the Sequim bird looked different to you, you are
either mistaken, or you are dealing with individual variation. (Or perhaps
the bird's breast was stained with something?)

Night-herons in the Northwest, at least in winter, are true to their name,
feeding mostly at night and roosting in trees in the daytime-- often in
conifers, where they are well hidden from crows or other birds that might
pester them. I have observed the small group of wintering night-herons at
the Reifel Bird Sanctuary scores of times over the last 2-3 decades, and
they almost never do anything in the daytime other than sleep or try to
sleep. This may be different in the breeding season when the herons have
hungry chicks to feed. The "skittishness" of the Sequim bird might be
accounted for by the fact that it was a lone bird; I suspect that they would
be less skittish in large groups.

Wayne C. Weber

Delta, BC

contopus at telus.net

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Vincent
Sent: January-25-13 4:38 PM
Subject: [Tweeters] Washington Subspecies List?

Can anyone direct me to or know of a list of subspecies for Washington birds
and especially bird subspecies for the Olympic Peninsula where I live? Case
in point, last week I saw my first for Washington Black-crowned Night-Heron
here in Sequim. That bird didn't look anything like the BCNH I'm used to
seeing in Florida. This WA BCNH had an almost yellow breast and acted
completely differently than what I'm used to in FL. It was skittish and hid
in a Western Cedar whereas the BCNH in FL are easily approachable and are
found mostly along freshwater sources. Any help would be appreciated.

Vincent Lucas

Sequim, WA

vincentlucas5 at gmail.com

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