West Side Rag » Central Park Bird Watching Report

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Posted on May 27, 2022 at 10:18 a.m. by West Side Rag

By sydney

Are the two birds above really both black-crowned night herons? Yes, the only difference is their age!

The black-and-white version with the dark beak and ruby ​​red eyes, perched picturesquely in a red Japanese maple to match the pond, is an adult, and the mottled brownish version with amber eyes, seen on duck islandis a minor.

The best place to look for Black-crowned Night Herons in Central Park is at the water’s edge, where they hide and fish during the day and night, although they are most active in the evening. Their eggs also change color from dark green to a lighter shade of green or blue, but you’re much less likely to catch a glimpse of these, as the nests are usually at least ten to forty feet tall ( sometimes more than a hundred feet). , perched in a tree, or hidden in a bed of reeds.

While both parents share incubation duties, the female is the primary nest builder, using materials provided by the male. Black-crowned night herons first breed when they are around two years old. Their breeding plumage is most marked by a long white “ponytail” that is often seen blowing in the wind – perhaps Bob Dylan’s inspiration? Probably not.

To read other Central Park birding reports, Click here.

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