Birds of the Jersey Shore

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Visits to three locations along the New Jersey Shore resulted in some great looks at some beautiful birds yesterday.  A female Black-Crowned Night-Heron tends to her chicks at a rookery in Ocean City.

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Male and female Night-Herons look the same but their behavior provides clues as to who is who in the pair. You may be tempted to think that this is the male as he appears to be watching the female do all the work. In truth, they each help build the nest and then both protect and feed the chicks.

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Night-Herons forage for food when the sun goes down. This is a juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron.

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An Osprey flies to its nest with a fresh catch at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.

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An American Oystercatcher at the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook.

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The highlight of the day was the last bird I photographed. It’s my first-ever Piping Plover. These tiny birds, on the endangered species list due to loss of habitat, do a great job of blending into the scenery. They are difficult to spot but fun to watch.