Night Herons, Great Egrets putting on a show
The temporary residents of York’s Kiwanis Lake are crowding their nests, and it won’t be long before they’ll be heading south again.
Great Egrets, the tall, elegant electric-white birds with a wingspan of just under six feet are the stars of the show here, and even from across the lake, they’re hard to miss against the evergreen’s dark green. The babies hatch from a brood of up to six eggs, and they fight for food with their siblings. Often, weaker siblings are pushed from the nest.
Black crowned Night Herons, on the other hand, hide nicely in the trees here, often in the same tree as the egrets. These herons aren’t the tall slender herons, like the Great White Herons that many people associate with ‘herons’. These are shorter and stockier, about two feet tall and gray, black and white with piercing red eyes. The babies are dappled brown and white, making them tough to see in the trees. They are also more active at night, adding to a birder’s frustration.
All these birds will be gone from the park by mid-summer.