Deb Marsh sends along some absolutely stunning photos of a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron that she observed for a period late last July. It was working the more or less pristine waters of Big Darby Creek here in Central Ohio. It would be interesting to know where this bird came from. A home-grown boy, would be my guess. There are plenty of tough to access places along the Big and Little Darby's some 100+ miles that could harbor nesting night-herons, and no one would be the wiser.
Very artistic, this look. Young night-herons are a bit tougher to separate than are the adults. Note that this yellow-crowned has quite the Jimmy Durante-style schnozz, though - a big, thick, all-dark bill. Yellow-crowneds also have smaller and finer speckling on the back, and overall are a longer, thinner, lankier bird.
This shot's great. Deb caught the bird in the act of wolfing down a large crayfish, probably the rather invasive Rusty Crayfish, Orconectes rusticus. Wonder what one of those feels like sliding down the ole gullet...
Thank you for the great photos, Deb!