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Black-Crowned Night Heron

Black-Crowned Night Heron
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Exposure: f/4, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): TN Favourites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-07-02 9:34
Viewed: 4211
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I have been in Romania for the past few days. It was spur of the moment trip and rather rushed (I got half-way to Heathrow and realised I had left the money at home!)- my wife's birthday was on saturday. We managed a whistle stop tour, visiting Brasov, the fortified churches of Translyvania, medieval Sigisoara (Count Vlad associations - but stunning anyway), the wooden churches of Maramures, the Carpathians, the painted monastaries of Bucovina and the Danube Delta. Horia originally asked me why I wanted to go - the amswer is - it is superb - I cannot wait to go back!

Anyway - I'll be boring you with delta shots for the next few days!! This night heron was perched obligingly close to the boat we hired.


Adults are 64 cm long and weigh 800 g. They have a black crown and back with the remainder of the body white or grey, red eyes, and short yellow legs. Young birds are brown, flecked with white and grey. These are short-necked and stout herons.

The breeding habitat is fresh and salt-water wetlands throughout much of the world. The subspecies N. n. hoactli breeds in North and South America from Canada as far south as Patagonia, and the nominate race N. n. nycticorax in Europe, Asia and Africa. Black-crowned Night Herons nest in colonies on platforms of sticks in a group of trees, or on the ground in protected locations such as islands or reedbeds. Three to eight eggs are laid.

This heron is migratory outside the tropical parts of its extensive range, where it is a permanent resident. The North American population winters in Mexico, the southern United States, Central America, and the West Indies, and the Old World birds winter in tropical Africa and southern Asia.

These birds stand still at the water's edge and wait to ambush prey, mainly at night. They primarily eat small fish, crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects, and small mammals. During the day they rest in trees or bushes. The New World race is more gregarious outside the breeding season than the nominate race.

They are often found nesting or roosting within cities in avenue trees on busy roads.

CatherineD, mayuresh, nglen, uleko, gracious, jaycee, boreocypriensis, gerbilratz, rousettus, rcrick, Luis52, eqshannon, goldyrs, marhowie, anel, maurydv, PaulH, NinaM, pilonm, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To PaulH: HoriaJamesp 1 07-03 05:42
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello James,
I'm very curious about your Delta photos. This one is very good. You came so close of this shy heron. Amazing details and very good portrait. I'm also curious about the situation of the Danube Delta, which is threatened it seems.
Best regards,

Hello James,
brilliant capture having superb details,perfect sharpness and good lighting with nice composition.
very well done,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-07-02 10:09]

Hello James,
Very beautiful. Sharpness and details are splendid. Great natural colours, composition and POV. Good OOF BG. You gave us an exciting promise. I'll be very curious.

Crikey James...A whistle stop tour!!..Time enough for the guard to hold the train whilst you captured fantastic sights as this Night Heron...I hope you spent a bit more time over a fine meal for your wifes birthday!!


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-07-02 10:36]

Hi James. I wondered where you had gone over the last few days. Hope you had a good trip. I must admit i do like this blue Heron. You have captured it in a good pose showing good detail in the feathers and colours . the eye stands out well. TFS.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-07-02 10:59]

Hello James,
Splendid close-up of this Night Heron in a fine pose. Grat focus on that lovely eye and very sharp details. Well done! Yes, Romania is popular with birdwatchers from Sweden too!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello James,
Great photo you brought back from Romania! much appreciated for the effort!
Excellent pose of the Heron with total sharpness, good colour and superb details to view and enjoy
well done
take care and my sincere regards always

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-07-02 11:55]

Hi James,

I have never forgotten money on the way to the airport but other things and had to stop enroute to replace them! This Heron is picture perfect. A wonderful pose - fantastic details of the face, eye, beak, wings and plummage. Beautiful colors and a wonderful setting.


  • Great 
  • martic Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 179 W: 1 N: 159] (1327)
  • [2008-07-02 13:16]

Hello James,
Very good shot of this heron, superb details and colors good eye contact, image well framed
very well done
TFS and regards

Hi James, welcome back my dear friend! Great shot in all around of this night heron wit great POV. TFS.

Hi James, simply perfect.. gone to favourite list... regards h

hello James
night crow [from latin name means that] is a very beautiful heron. I like it very much and my last post also for this species. You captured it with a great shot.
Also nice to learn you visit Romania. Maybe next time you will visit my country, Turkiye.
Thanks for sharing this great work with a good information. best wishes

Hi James...Very good portre....Remind me how I use to drawing bird picture when I was a student...Simple bright colour sharp detail....Thanks to share....Information and composition are perfect too...Kind regards, Leyla


Great picture. Just briefly marking today.



Hi James,

Well if the rest of the delta photos look like this trust me we wont be bored, the detail in the plumage are stunning, perfect exposure in the whites, that eye is just amazing, really well framed and composed, looking forward to seeing the rest, all the best,

Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-07-02 17:39]

Hola James.
Una joya de foto la de hoy. Exlente claridad en la imagen y bellos colores en el plumaje.
La pose exelente tambien.

I like the way you flit in and out of the picture...and always with something important. It humbles me. Very nice James...as are many if not most of your images...but it demeans them not one iota. In their beauty the dynamical add to the whole theme of nature! And sometimes geology as well:-)

Another stellar shot, James!Very sharp, well exposed and perfectly framed shot!

Great capture of the Night Heron James,
Excellent color, details, POV, and OOF BG depicting its natural habitat well.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-07-02 23:14]

hello james,
Amazing to follow you from place to place all over the earth.. That makes me dream. Happy you to see this special shaped bird from the boat and to make a perfectely sharp picture! Excellent decentred composition too. Bravo

Splendida cattura di nitticora, un airone che fotografo spesso, eccellente POV, nella composizione personalmente avrei tenuto un "bit" pił bassa l'inquadratura anche se il ramo sfocato disturba leggermente, ottima nitidezza e spettacolare l'occhio rosso, belli i colori. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-07-03 5:07]
  • [+]

Nicely done James, how is Horia? Did he show you around at all? Really good composition here, not what i imagine Herons to look like...but then my knowledge of birds, although increasing, is still rubbish! Hoping to get over there myself next year :o) Did you go to Castle Dracul???

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-07-03 6:50]

What a way to travel, James, wow! I also heard that Romania is fantastic to visit and beautiful. Thanks for the great heron picture, it is superb as usual and I cannot wait to see the others! I like the pov with the branch all in perspective, leading to the heron. Subtle and efficient. Thank you James!


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  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-07-03 10:03]

Hello James, Perfect focus on the eyes. Superb focus and sharp picture. Composition is just brilliant. Ganesh

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  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2008-07-03 12:11]

Hello James,

Very nice picture of this Black-Crowned Night Heron! Excellent POV with a nice bg surrounding him... Nice natural colors also... The only thing is that the feet are too close to the frame IMHO. I'm also wondering if a vertical composition would have been appropriate here...

Bye and TFS!

Michel (Say hello to Dracula from me ;-) )

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-07-03 13:13]

Excellent photo, James!
Pin-sharp and very detailed.
Nice n' natural colours.
Great DOF.

Well done!


p.s I hope you enjoyed your Romania trip... definately seems like you did :-)

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-07-03 14:44]

Hi James

Glad to hear you liked it so much and i really hope you will come visit us again :)
The Danube Delta is definitely a place worth spending at least a week in on its own, so plan ahead :))
Anyway, this is a lovely heron shot from you, presenting this species with excellent details and in beautiful colors.
Good composition, too, with plenty of room in front of the bird.
Looking forward for some more :)

Cheers and TFS

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-07-04 9:50]

Hi James,
Splendid close-up shot of this beautiful Black Crowned Night Heron in a fine pose. Very impressive sharpness and colours with perfect handling of light and exposure levels. the intent of its red eye is great. Excellent DOF, POV and composition. Kudos.

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-07-04 23:06]

Hi James.
Fantastic of quality shot of a very beautiful bird. Exposure, feather reproduction, colours are superb as well as the nicer smooth colourful BG. May be cropping on the bottom is strong a little bit. My kind regards and wishes.

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