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1st Summer or adult (Night Heron)?

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Southern Ontario this morning.

Night Herons are uncommon at this location. On my last visit I found an adult but this one possibly looks more like a 1st Summer bird - although the bill has changed to black there is still streaking on the underside. Only got a brief glimpse from a distance and it was heavily backlit (perhaps explaining the wings?).


Black-crowned Night Heron S1 if EcoP-7523720.jpg

Black-crowned Night Heron S1 if EcoP-7523721.jpg

Edited by RobinHood
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37 minutes ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

Looks like adult Black-crowned Night Heron.

You may well be right and the bird just looked unusual because of the strong back lighting.

I did a quick search and there are examples of older 1st summer birds which have changed to an all black bill but still retain streaking below.

However, I did find this example of an immature bird which definitely didn't pay attention to some of the parental guidance provided ?:


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26 minutes ago, Kevin said:

Just wanting to learn here...Why is it a one year old?

Because it hatched last year. ?

It’s got some black in the crown and has replaced many of its wing coverts, thus losing a lot is the spotting. It’s probably a little on the retarded side of molt progression for the sp, as most one-year-olds are somewhat more adult-like by this point in the plumage cycle.

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