The black-crowned night heron is a common heron in Denver during the warm months. However, it’s rare to see the yellow-crowned night heron in the Denver area, but one was sighted in the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood near First Creek this April.
The black-crowned night heron and yellow-crowned night heron have similar shapes. They’re distinguished by the color and pattern of their feathers. The black-crowned night heron is on the average heavier than the yellow-crowned night heron; however, the yellow-crowned heron’s bill is heavier than the black-crowned heron’s.
Both herons are patient waders in shallow waters who remain motionless as they watch for prey that wanders their way. Once close enough, they lunge at the crustaceans or fish. Both have necks that seem short when they’re perched but extend while foraging and feeding.
The yellow-headed blackbirds have arrived. Their call is unique. It sounds like a rusty metal hinge being moved; it’s a grating noise that is often heard before the bird is even seen among the cattails.
They eat seeds year-round and insects during the summer months. Like their slightly smaller cousins, the red-winged blackbirds, they typically reside and breed in wetlands. The female blackbirds aren’t black; they’re mostly brown.
Bird Walks: June 4 & July 2. Two options: 7:30–10am or 8–10am. Both walks are free but you must RSVP HERE (click Bird Walks icon.) All are welcome. Bring your own binoculars, or use one of their pairs. 11255 MLK Blvd. Search FrontPorchNE.com for “Bird Sightings” to see all the past bird stories and photos from George Ho. This column Generously donated by George Ho.