Thursday, July 24, 2014

Convenient View of Nesting Yellow-crowned Night-herons

Juvenile yellow-crowned night-herons by Phil Fowler
There is a unique opportunity for local birders to get a good look at one of Mecklenburg County's rarest breeding birds, the yellow-crowned night-heron. A nest of this species has been discovered right above a portion of Toby Creek Greenway near UNCC. But you had better hurry. The chicks are almost full grown, making for a rather comical picture of all of them still trying to occupy the flimsy nest this species builds.
From the parking area at Kirk Farm Fields soccer field (off Mallard Creek Church Road near the junction with US 29), take the paved path towards UNCC and under Mallard Creek Church Road for few hundred yards. At a fork take the one that crosses the creek. Go another couple of hundred yards and look for the flimsy nest with the large night-heron chicks in an oak tree. To aid in your search, look for some whitewash on the asphalt under the nest. A dirt path also joins the greenway near the nest tree.
To try to see the attractive adults, go back to the Kirk Farm Fields parking lot and take the bridge that crosses the creek there. You will be on a boardwalk that takes you through and over a nice wetland. The adults have been seen foraging in this marsh. Around dusk is probably best for finding them, they are called night-herons for a reason.

Adult yellow-crowned night-heron by Phil Fowler


Unknown said...

Went there this evening (6:30 pm-8:00 pm) but it appears they have fledged-no sign of them in the nest. Walked the boardwalk by the wetlands looking for adults and did not see-doesn't mean they weren't hidden in there though. Hopefully they will nest there again next year. Thanks for the heads up.