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A new county nester (or, a Night Heron shared)

April 27, 2012

Add this to the list of reasons why being an eBird reviewer is nice.

Like many eBirders who take their county lists seriously, I subscribe to the “county needs list”, in which I get an email every time someone reports a species I’ve not seen in a given county.  Anyone can do this, but my privileges allow me to go into the eBird review database and send these people an email getting specific information.  To whit, the report of a nesting pair of Yellow-crowned Night Herons in an older neighborhood in Chapel Hill, incidentally, not more than a mile from my house.

So I gets the email then I gets the directions.  Like go to this house, stand here, look at 10 o’clock, see bird, type direction.  So I do.  And I get this.

The photos are no great shakes of course, the bird is fairly well obscured, but there’s clearly a Yellow-crowned Night Heron up there.  And that’s a county bird.  And I may have gotten better photos but I did run into one of the side effects of suburban birding, a raucous band of elementary aged girls from next door curious as to what I was looking at.  So I pulled my scope out of my car and set it up for the obligatory oohs and ahhs, because these Night Herons are pretty snazzy birds. The bird did pop its head up, but by that point the best line of sight was taken.

No matter, I suppose a little outreach is better than slightly better photos anyway.  And now that I know where the birds are, I can return when the chicks get the adults up, moving, and perhaps more photogenic.

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