Re: Strategy to see the continuing Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in Sacramento


Fantastic!  Thanks for the info and your determination. I'll give  it another try. 

Sacramento CA

On May 11, 2019, at 11:12 PM, Gil Ewing <gewing1@...> wrote:

Hi all,

The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron is still present.
After totaling more than 6 hours of trying, this evening I finally got a brief view of the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron discovered and photographed by Carol Livingston on May 8 at the Waterford Cove Apartment rookery in Sacramento’s Pocket Area.
The bird was the 243rd night-heron flying out from the redwoods after sundown.

During evening daylight hours one would never have known there were more than than couple of dozen night-herons in the redwoods, as few were visible, were it not for the constant gurgling chatter emanating from high up there.
However, at 7:45PM, I noticed a few night-herons trickling out and flying west, into the west wind (into the direction of the Sacramento River and Babel Slough), at the rate of only about 2 per minute at first. So I stationed myself on the west side of the area at the corner of Cutting Way and Lanyard Court, to view and count the herons, all of which were flying westward over or by my location. It was getting too dark to try photography, but the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was finally spotted at 8:23 PM, before it got too dark to see well enough. 
See attached eBirdchecklist for more info (but no photo of the rarity).

On an earlier visit, I found the herons were much more active and visible at dawn than they had been in the evening today. Maybe that could be a good time to detect this rarity in better light.

Good luck.

Gil Ewing
Fair Oaks, Sacramento Co., CA 


Waterford Cove Apartments heron rookery, Sacramento, California, US
May 11, 2019 5:18 PM - 8:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.4 kilometer(s)
Comments:     Sunny, 82 degrees at start, until well after sundown, dipping to 74 degrees, with a steady, building west wind. For the first two hours twenty minutes I saw fewer than two dozen night-herons in the trees, but at 7:45 PM they started to trickle out from the redwoods. All of them were flying westward, so I stationed myself at the corner of Cutting Way and Lanyard Court to study them as they flew out.  They were flying out at only the rate of about 2 a minute at first, but as the light was fading the rate increased.
29 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  2
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)  9
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  2
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  6
Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  2
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)  3
Great Egret (Ardea alba)  2     A pair circled repeatedly and landed on the redwoods periodically, and appeared to be investigating the. possibility of nesting here.
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)  80     An estimate.  Early on, I could count only 21 in the redwoods, but more kept flying in, including flocks of 18, 14, 14, 7, and individuals.
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)  2     Two separate individuals briefly landed on the redwoods.
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)  4     One was seen flying out of a redwood, so it probably had a nest there.
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)  259     Two-hundred fifty-nine. This is an actual count of individuals that were flying westward out of the redwood rookery/nest colony after 7:45PM until 8:30PM. The total number was amazing considering that very few of these were visible earlier.
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)  1     Continuing rarity discovered and photographed by Carol Livingstone on May 8.  This was the 243rd night-heron flying out from the redwoods after sundown, at 8:23PM. It was already too dark to appreciate some features such as the dark underwings, as the bird flew by overhead, but there was enough light to discern the dark head with a pale crown and a white streak on the lower cheek.
White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)  28     In a single flock flying over.
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  2
Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  1
Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)  3
Nuttall's Woodpecker (Dryobates nuttallii)  2
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  2
California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  2
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  9
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  6
Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)  8
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)  4
Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana)  2
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  5
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  3
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  64     Flocks of 42 and 22 came to roost.
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)  4
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1

View this checklist online at

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