In Waterfowl & Shorebirds/ Wildlife

Night Heron Fishing

Black Crowned Night Heron Fishing

I don’t sit and stay long in one place. I am a wandering fool.  I capture what is in front of me, or what I happen to run into on my explorations. There is something to be said for enjoying a cup of coffee while sitting at the edge of a pond or lake. Nothing rushed, nor expected.  Just out enjoying the environment and sipping coffee. Perfection.  Bliss.

Trees down along pond area

Get Comfortable and Watch the Behaviors

I was only sitting for about 5 minutes enjoying my fresh cup of java when I received a visitor.  Again, never really sat and watched the bird. Generally, I’m the snap and go, queen.


Today, was different. I really sat and watched the night heron for a period of time.  It looked like he was fishing but I wasn’t familiar with the behaviors before his head hit the water.

Night Heron Pacing a Log Wildlife Photography Print

Study Your Subject to Get Excellent Pics

If you understand your subjects behaviors that is when you get the best photo ops.  You learn to expect the action that you have witnessed a number of times.

Black Crowned Night Heron in Flight

See the Pattern and You Know When To Snap

My fishing night heron sent vibrations into the water by slowly opening and closing his beak. Exactly as he is pictured, he would stand still. Except for that he would open and close his mouth in a patterned fashion. It must have been some sort of draw for the fish, to make them curious.

Night Heron Fishing Tactics Wildlife Photography Print


The heron would walk up and down the log and do his fancy beak work by opening and closing his beak in a pattern, repeating it in a few spots along the log.  Then he sat still and quiet.  The only part of his body that moved was his head.  He leaned his head to the left or to the right.  As if he was listening closely.

Night Heron Still and Listening Photography Print


All of a sudden he would lunge in one quick motion, he would just reach into the water and lift out a fish. It was amazing to watch.  I wanted to claim a few of the yellow perch he consumed for a fishy dinner for my own clan.


Night Heron With a Perch Wildlife Photography Print

After catching four fish, he left me to enjoy my coffee once again. Bottoms up!


Since I didn’t know how a black-crowned night heron caught his food I needed to watch and study his actions and patterns.  When you see the pattern or actions, you know when to snap.  Allowing you to capture moments that you might miss because you didn’t know there was a pattern to the process.

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