Yellow-crowned night heron spotted in Calgary is 2nd time species seen in Alberta | CBC News

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The hot sighting of a yellow-crowned evening heron shocked Calgary’s birding group as a result of its same old habitat is in Mexico and South The united states.

Naturalist Brian Keating stated the fascinating having a look fowl was once first noticed in early October, nevertheless it wasn’t till its photograph landed at the app eBird, one of the most international’s greatest databases for fowl observations, that it was once learned to be a yellow-crowned heron.

“It was once posted at the uncommon fowl alert day after today and a wide variety of folks have observed it.… Some have come slightly a lengthy techniques away, even from spaces north of Edmonton and as a long way south as Lethbridge and farther,” he instructed The Homestretch on Monday.

He says the heron is no less than 1,000 kilometres clear of acquainted territory and his very best bet as to why it landed in Calgary is that it should have taken a improper flip.

“I’ve a idea that most likely some birds simply merely get it improper,” he stated.

“This was once an immature, yellow-crowned evening heron … it should have simply gotten its directional bearings perplexed.”

Keating says the heron, which was once most probably slightly younger, was once in a cottonwood tree getting ready for its night time hunt. (Mind Keating)

Keating says he were given a glimpse of the fowl himself whilst it was once sitting in an outdated cottonwood tree on the Inglewood Chook Sanctuary.

“After I noticed it, I believe it was once simply getting ready to head out for the night time hunt. It was once scratching and stretching and principally having a look much more alert than its daylight hours roosting behaviour.”

And whilst the to find is unexpected, he says fowl migration can evolve, so it is conceivable extra yellow-crowned evening herons will make their means right here.

“Birds are converting migratory patterns ever so quite, and infrequently slightly significantly, at all times. And this person will have been nature’s experiment,” he stated.

“However this is a giant deal for the Calgary birding group. It is only the second one time this fowl has been observed on this province.” 

Heron details

There are seven kinds of evening herons on this planet. Keating says he is come throughout some in Africa, South The united states, Australia and on more than a few Pacific islands.

“We have now regularly discovered them when we have now been out at evening within the Galapagos. I keep in mind staring at one lately, it was once dockside with boulevard lighting fixtures illuminating the fowl because it was once looking for little fish that have been arising into the shallower waters.”

For the ones fascinated with recognizing one in Calgary, Keating says the herons are thick-billed, stout, medium-sized with quick necks and legs.

“The younger birds, like the one who we had right here closing week, are brown and flecked with white,” he stated.

Because the identify implies, they’re basically lively all the way through the middle of the night, looking fish, frogs and small mammals.

“They depend closely on crustaceans, particularly crabs,” he stated. “I watched the only at the Galapagos Islands catch what is referred to as a Sally Lightfoot crab, which is a vibrant orange crab, and it dismembered its legs.”

Keating says he noticed an grownup yellow-crowned evening heron within the Galapagos Islands a pair years in the past. He says the heron stood like a statue for a number of mins, patiently looking forward to a fiddler crab to seem on the entryway to his hiding hollow. (Brian Keating)

Keating says you’ll in most cases to find herons nesting in colonies on islands, in a metre-wide nests of trigs in timber or shrubs.

“It is clearly means too quickly to inform. However it can be that sooner or later we see yellow-crowned evening heron nesting right here, too. They have got been discovered as a long way north as southern Ontario or even Michigan in america,” he stated.

“So they’re in a position to of spending time right here, certainly about it.” 


For extra interesting tales about Alberta’s natural world from naturalist Brian Keating, discuss with his website and take a look at those tales:


With recordsdata from The Homestretch.

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