Monday, August 6, 2018

Black-Crowned Night Heron

I have been struggling to identify a bird I photographed in the Okavanga Delta of Botswana. It was in a tree full of nesting African darters and also mixed with some cormorants. We saw it while on a small river in a motor boat. 
Juvenile black-crowned night heron. 
I've been looking at striated herons and squacco herons and they were not fitting. I finally googled "heron africa orange eyes" and multiple pictures came up of a juvenile black crowned night heron. 
Juveniles have dull gray/brown plumage with underparts paler and streaked with brown, orange eyes and dull yellowish/green legs. 
Adults look completely different, which makes identifying the juvenile that much more difficult. The adult has a black crown and back, with the remainder of the body white or gray, red eyes and yellow legs. 

They are found through much of the world, including North America and large swathes of Africa. 

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