Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yellow-crowned night heron and little blue heron

I am not positive, but I believe that the bird on the lower left is a yellow-crowned night heron. I make that identification based on the pattern of the black and white plumage on its head, plus its gray color, size and habitat. The yellow-crowned night heron is more often seen during the day than the black-crowned and other night herons, although they are nevertheless still primarily nocturnal.

The bird in the top right of the photo is a little blue heron ("Little" is part of its name, not an adjective added by me.) They winter in Costa Rica, although some non-breeding pairs remain all year.

Both types of herons shown in this photo live in aquatic areas of both coasts of Costa Rica, particularly in mangroves. We have mangroves in the Tamarindo and Langosta estuaries that border Tamarindo on the north and south, although I took this photo in Tortuguero. The presence of two types of birds so close together in one photo illustrates how easy it is to spot birds in Tortuguero National Park.

Both of these herons are typically 61 cm. (24 in.) in length. The scientific name for yellow-crowned night heron nyctanassa violacea, and for the little blue heron is egretta caerulea.

4 comments:

brattcat said...

What exquisite detail, Dave. The bird on the right looks as if he's expounding on some important matter and the bird on the lower left looks as if he's listening intently.

Sharon said...

These are beautiful birds! One of my favorite things about Costa Rica is the wonderful variety of gorgeous birds.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

they look like they a having their morning conversation. it is amazing how close you were able to get without scaring them away.

Jarart said...

Just a beautiful shot. Interesting to see them so close together.

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