Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron Fly-By

As we were walking along the Wildlife Drive at J.N. Ding Darling NWR early in the morning this Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron flew right by us. I was not expecting a photo subject would fly by us but I was able to get this shot before it flew behind the trees. I guess I should be more aware of what was going around me as I was concentrating to get closer to a photo subject in the tree in front of us. Image taken @f/8, 1/4000, ISO 1250, 400mm DO lens, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV. I usually do not have my ISO that high but raised it because of the dim early morning light.

Preening Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron

This Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron image is from a previous trip to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery in Florida. It is an interesting place to photograph Florida birds. Many types of birds nest here because their nests are protected from predators because of the Alligators below the Boardwalk. Image taken with a 400mm DO lens on a Canon 7D.

Yellow-Crowned Night-Herons

I was going through old hard drives and found this series of images from 10 years ago of a pair of Yellow-Crowned Night Herons that were nesting on a busy side street leading into a park and baseball fields in Northern NJ. It seemed like a strange place for their nest since there were woods and a pond just a couple of hundred feet down the road, but they chose a busy street section. I followed them photographically (from a far distance with a 400mm Canon DO f/4 lens and the Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 lens @800mm and 1.4X & 2x Telconverters) for their nest building and raising the young. The images featured here were when they were first building their nest and displaying near the nest. The featured image was shot with a 400mm f/4 Canon DO lens & 2X teleconverter with fill flash before sunrise with a Better Beamer flash extender.


Early morning, 400mm f/4 DO with 2X Teleconverter @ 800mm, Fill Flash with Better Beamer


400mm f/4 DO with 1.4X Teleconverter – 560mm


400mm f/4 DO with 1.4X Teleconverter – 560mm


Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron Displaying – 560mm

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Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron Early AM @ 800mm


Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron @ 800mm


Yellow-Crowned Night Heron Displaying @ 560mm


800mm @ 8 PM


Early Evening – @ 560mm


Early Evening  @ 400mm f/4 DO w/2x Teleconverter – f/10 1/250 – Displaying


Early Evening – 400mm f/4 DO w/2x Teleconverter – f/10 1/250


Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron Displaying

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I had made a pdf e-book on the nest building and the Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron family. This is back cover


Yellow-Crowned Night-Herons At Magnolia Gardens

On our way down to Florida, we stopped at Magnolia Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina. One of our favorite places to walk around and see what we can find to photograph. The flowers were a little past prime but it was still fun to walk through. They have quite a few Peacocks roaming through the Gardens making quite a bit of noise as they are squawking away as they roam. They seem very tolerant of people though. Attached to the Plantation is an Audubon Swamp Garden with trails to walk through. It is an interesting place to photograph and you never know what you will find to photograph. Here is a series of this Yellow-crowned Night-heron we saw along the way.


Yellow-crowned Night-Heron @ 600mm



Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron Hanging Out In The Shade

I was walking down one of the paths early in the morning at the J.N. Ding Darling NWR. It was pretty dark on the sides of the path under the trees and mangroves. I heard Ibises moving in the lower branches of trees and in the mangroves but were mostly hidden by branches. Plus it was extremely dark to get a photo. Then I noticed this Yellow-crowned Night-Heron out in the open, standing under the branches. It was still very dark because the branches were blocking the rising sunlight. The Heron did not seem to be bothered and did not move, so I took a few shots and moved on. It was so dark where the Heron was, my shutter speed was very very slow, so I shot a series of bursts and purposely underexposed to get my shutter speed up. I did not want to raise my ISO, because the Canon camera I was using gets more “noise” at higher ISO’s. It was easier to work on sharpness later. I was using a 300mm f/4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter giving me f/5.6 wide open.  I have more success with having less noise from not using a high ISO, and under exposing a little and then brightening my image in Photoshop. Then adding a “high” pass sharpening technique in Photoshop and blending it in.


Immature Yellow-crowned Night-heron

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