I’m sure people wonder how exactly I got this headshot of a young Yellow-crowned Night-heron, because really I wonder sometimes too. My answer for that is simple: luck.
I took this shot one summer morning at Barnegat Lighthouse State Park in Long Beach Island, NJ. This spot is a personal favorite of mine, partly because of what happened on this morning. I was actually on my way out of the park after quite a few hours spent treading through the sand to photograph shorebirds. The morning really wasn’t going my way for the most part. There weren’t too many birds hanging out and very few were cooperative for photos. I still had plenty of time to head back later in the week, but I considered this day a dud.
Just as I left the park and headed back to my car, something caught my eye. I thought to myself, “Why are these women taking pictures of the parking lot?” Oh, and they weren’t just taking pictures, but cellphone pictures. This had to be good.
What could it possibly be? A Lamborghini? A celebrity? It wasn’t quite a Kardashian, but surely a character! This crazy little juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron had perched on the hood of an SUV only a few cars down from mine! I couldn’t believe it. So of course, I had to walk to my car right? Well as I walked right past the quirky little guy, he couldn’t have cared less about me. He was almost asleep on the hood of the car! It was so funny. I snapped away a bunch of pictures; portraits, head-on shots, close-ups, and even this shot here just so people believed me:
It was truly one of the coolest, funniest, and just greatest birding experiences I’ve had to date. What an awesome way to end just a normal morning. Safe to say there were a lot of stories to tell from my beach chair afterwards!