You Don’t Need To Be A Weatherman To Tell Which Way the Wind Is Blowing

Nyctanassa violaceaLast week, we had some nice views of the more common Black-crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax. This is a Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea).Nyctanassa violaceaIf you squinch up your eyes, you can sort of get that creamy yellow crown color the birds are named after… remember that a lot of birds got their names from a dead specimen in hand. (But also see this bird on a nest in Texas.) Nyctanassa violacea The binomial name, meanwhile, translates as “night lady violet,” the violet color of the back being imaged, I mean referenced. Nyctanassa violaceaAnother NYC breeding species, nesting in several locals within the city’s watery borders. And  last year there was some exciting news: a pair nested on Governor’s Island, a first; the island’s brief span of isolation after it was abandoned by the Coast Guard seems to have opened the gates to nature again; will the renewed frenzy of human re-occupation close them? Nyctanassa violacea

7 Responses to “You Don’t Need To Be A Weatherman To Tell Which Way the Wind Is Blowing”


  1. 1 Rick Wright June 6, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Great post! Baird coined Hydranassa as a translation of Audubon’s nickname for the tricolored heron, “Noble Lady of the Waters,” but it suits these yellow-crowned lovelies even better.

    • 2 mthew June 6, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Those plumes are remarkable. Don’t get why anybody would want a dead one on a hat, though.

      I wasn’t aware of this until recently, but both Tricolored and Little Blue, in addition to the expected species, also nest within the bounds of NYC (Jamaica Bay). I’ve seen both out there in early spring.

  2. 3 Shannon June 6, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Great series of the windblown YCNH. We enjoy this beauty in our yard, but it’s rare I get such animated photos of my regulars. Nice!

  3. 5 taramoyle June 7, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Lovely! We looked for those on our boat trip in Cape May but didn’t catch any.


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