Friday, July 17, 2009

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron, originally uploaded by zuctronic.

Lincoln Park along Chicago's Lake Michigan shoreline is Chicago's collective "back yard" and also host to a surprising diversity of wildlife. This black-crowned night heron was sitting on a log in North Pond right in front of the North Pond Restaurant. Next to it, on a neighboring log, was a red-eared slider turtle basking in the sun.

North Pond is currently home to over 195 species of bird and it's common to see people with impressive photography gear and binoculars just to view the birds. I'm always grateful to have this great park within walking distance from where I live.

The night heron eats small fish, water insects, mice, and other creatures small enough to fit in its mouth. Seeing a top predator like this is a sign of a healthy ecosystem. I'll return to North Pond soon to get more photos of the wildlife I find there.

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