Increasing Numbers

In 2011 I saw a black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nicticorax) at Baum Lake (Shasta County CA). This single adult night heron was the first one I ever saw at Baum Lake. Each year since then the number of night herons in the colony at Baum Lake has increased. This year there are at least twelve birds ranging in age from a “late” juvenile (born last year) to adults.

Black-crowned night herons are partially migratory, withdrawing from their breeding range throughout most of North America and wintering along the Atlantic Coast from Massachusetts southward, the Gulf Coast and the Pacific Coast. The night herons do not, as far as I can determine, winter at Baum Lake, but do return very early in the season. I have seen them as early as January 24th.

Leonard and I lament that several species of birds appear, to us, to be decreasing in numbers. It is wonderful to have at least one beautiful bird whose numbers, at least at Baum Lake, are increasing.

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