To show you how far behind I am in posting some photos, reader Joe Dickinson sent these on January 28. (I try to go in a rough temporal order, but often modify that to mix things up.) His notes are indented:
It’s been some time since I sent any photos of Black Crowned Night Herons (Nyctocorax nyctocorax), so here are some recent ones taken near the mouth of Aptos Creek (southeast of Santa Cruz, CA). One nice thing about photographing this species is that its basic defensive strategy is to stand very still hoping not to be noticed. If you can find an opening in the shrubbery without arousing too much suspicion, it will pose very nicely.
And here’s one that, in the spirit of “find the nightjar”, we might call “count the night herons”. [JAC: How many night herons can you count? I’ll put the answer in a comment later in the day.]
Finally, at the adjacent beach, here’s a Raven (Corvus corax) which seems to think it’s a gull. Incidentally, I was curious about the etymology of the “corax” shared in the Latin binomials. From Google, I gather it’s some sort of Roman siege engine. It is a rather menacing looking bird.
From reader Mark Nigogosyan of LaCrescent, Minnesota:
We encourage barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) to nest on our house and when they drink at our pond it is always on the fly!
And from reader Charles Spotts:
I took a drive to the Northeast from Maine, a drive that included the Upper Pitt river and Mt. Lassen National Park. I was trying out my new “point and shoot” camera, a little Sony RX100. I took a couple of photos, including a Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) at Manzanita Lake (in Lassen National Park):