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Last year I missed going to the rookery right next to the Ocean City Welcome Center in Cape May County at the southern end of New Jersey. Three days ago, I went there in mid season. The rookery was filled with many birds, some I had never seen before.

The night herons have built nests, incubated their eggs and some were busy raising the young ones. There were probably some nests well hidden behind tree branches and leaves, with eggs that had not hatched yet.

Black-crowned Night heron with two chicks. The chicks have yellow eyes while the adult has red eyes.

The night herons, as their names imply, are most active after dusk when their eyes serve them well. During the day they appear somnolent, almost lethargic, which of course is good for photography as they can hold their poses for a long time.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron.
Yellow-crowned Night Heron with its own tanning salon.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron with twig to be used for nest improvement.

These herons migrate long distances to their nesting grounds in New Jersey, and they do look impressive in flight.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron in flight.

Black-crowned Night Heron.