On Saturday July 17, 2010, Angie and I were down on the harbourfront of Toronto. We were attending an event called "Rock the Yacht" with a couple of Canadian hard rock bands (Helix and Revolver).
As we trekked along the Queens Quay to our meeting location, we happened to notice an odd sight... a Black Crowned Night Heron, just hanging out on a bench at the Marina. A couple of people were around him, one guy was just about sitting next to him. So, maybe it's not an odd sighting down there? It sure was for us. Our first thought was that this bird was injured, but that was not the case. It seems he is a seasonal resident down at the Marina. Apparently the people (boat owners) feed him so he's not too afraid of humans. I only hope they feed him proper food for his diet
We've seen a couple of Night Herons pretty close to home... at Smythe Park off Scarlett Road. They can be spotted up in the trees circling one large pond. But, never have we seen one this close before! I just wanted to sit next to him, pat him on the head and take in a moment of being next to such a stunning creature.
I took half a dozen photos or so and then we had to get on our way or else we'd miss the boat cruise.
I don't know a whole lot about Black Crowned Night Herons other than, well, they are part of the Heron family, probably are a fish eater, maybe frogs too, and their name is suiting since they have a black crown. I assume the "night" part of their name means they are active in the night. So learn with me here as I pull some facts out from the all about birds website.
- Young Black-crowned Night-Herons often disgorge their stomach contents when disturbed (this habit makes it easy to study its diet).
- The Black-crowned Night-Heron may nest in the same tree with ibises or other herons.
- Adult Black-crowned Night-Herons apparently do not distinguish between their own young and those from other nests, and will brood chicks not their own. The nesting in colonies explains this.
- They live in various wetland habitats, including salt, brackish, and freshwater marshes, swamps, streams, lakes, and agricultural fields.
- They survive on eating aquatic invertebrates, fish, amphibians, lizards, snakes, rodents, eggs, etc.
- They tend to eat in the early morning hours and then in the evening after the other species have gone back to their nests.
- The height of an adult Black Crowned Night Heron is 22" to 26" with a wing span of approximately 46".
Some interesting facts for sure... lets see if I can remember those.
Thanks for stopping in! Oh, and here is a couple pics from the "Rock the Yacht" cruise... I know it's non-animal related but if it weren't for this cruise, there is no way I would have been in this part of the city and seeing this bird. Thanks for hosting this guys!
A shot of Toronto as we cruised around the islands.
A large number of Double Crested Cormorants at the edge of the Toronto Island Airport. I am happy that our city has not participated in a large cull of the Cormorants that has been happening elsewhere.
The skies sure looked menacing throughout the afternoon but the rain held off for us and we all had a great time. I heard it rained a few times inland about the city that afternoon.
Brian Vollmer of Helix.
Nick Walsh (singer) and Laurie Green (bassist) of Revolver.
Nick and Laurie Green once again.