Nyctanassa

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I saw a brown heron-like bird fly past me and land in a tree by that pond I like in Indian RiverSide Park.

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Some sort of juvenile Night Heron – probably Yellow-crowned, I thought.

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Oh hey, what’s in the same tree? An adult.

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In the animal kingdom, among back-boned animals, their Class is Aves, Order: Pelecaniformes, Family: Ardeidae (herons), Genus: Nyctanassa. The Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Nyctanassa violacea, is the only surviving species in the genus, as the Bermuda night heron is extinct.

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The name comes from Ancient Greek words for “night” and “lady” or “queen”, referring to the yellow-crowned night heron’s nocturnal activity and its beauty.

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The other night herons around here are Black-crowned and their genus is Nycticorax (“night raven”) with two species on earth living and the rest prehistoric or extinct.

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It was Saturday evening and the park was pretty busy, but these birds were not spooked.

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Big eyes, like the ones in stuffed toys.

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Audubon…

More solitary and often more secretive than the Black-crowned Night-Heron, the Yellow-crowned is still quite common in parts of the southeast. Particularly in coastal regions, often feeds by day as well as by night. Its stout bill seems to be an adaptation for feeding on hard-shelled crustaceans — it is called “crab-eater” in some locales.

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A good look.

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The adult flew down and stood by the water for a bit, but I left before I saw it catch any dinner.

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