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Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Immature Yellow-crowned Night-heron

Photos © Kim Hosen, Whooping Crane Conservancy, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Text by Carly Earhart and Serena Burgess

Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Nyctanassa violacea

The Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, also know as the "Squawk," is a unique bird found in swamps, mangroves, bayous, and streams.

They can be found migrating to Northern Virginia in the late spring, they stay for the duration of the summer months.

The appearance of the juvenile bird is rather similar to that of the adult bird. Both have black faces and bills, yellow legs, red eyes, and gray bodies.

The adult heron is more stalky while the younger heron is somewhat thinner.

The young has pale spots located on its wings and back and a longer neck. The adult heron has a yellow crown stripe and white cheeks.

The Yellow-Crowned Night Heron is a carnivore. Its main diet consists of crustaceans such as, crayfish, frogs, small snakes, tadpoles, aquatic insects, and snails.

Some interesting facts that may draw attention is that the entire foot extends beyond the tail during flight. This type of bird also nests in colonies.