Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

More on the Black-crowned Night Heron

©Bert Gildart:  Four years ago Janie and I made an extensive trip through Florida, stopping for weeks at wildlife sanctuaries to include Big Cypress, the Everglades – and the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the latter of which is located on Sanibel Island.  Here, we found the subject of my most recent posting, a Black Crowned Night Heron.


Black-crowned Night Heron stalking the marshland of Florida's Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.


Because several readers have said they are not familiar with the species I thought I’d post a few images of a mature Night Heron – those which I took in Florida, mostly at Ding Darling.  Those from my last posting were made just a few days ago, almost adjacent to our camp here in California’s Borrego Springs.

Wildlife refuges provide a safe haven for their inhabitants, and as a result animals become somewhat acclimated to the presence of people, but that doesn’t mean you can approach with impunity.  Nor does it mean that the more docile creatures will completely ignore your encroachment.  Endless patience is required to convince skittish birds that you mean them no harm and that’s necessary, of course, to create good images.

NightHeron1 NightHeron4 NightHeron5


L to R:  Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron; adult Night Heron; adult Night Heron, illustrating that head is not entirely a “black  crown.”

As far as photography is concerned I used essentially the same set up I did several days ago to photograph my immature Night Heron, and that was a 600mm lens with a full-frame Nikon camera.  Like my picture of the other day these images are but little modified from the way they were first recorded.

Looking now at the images shown here, specifically the one I have labeled as an immature Night Heron, and I’m sure we’ve identified the individual correctly.  The main difference is that my Night Heron images made here at Borrego shown an individual who is losing the stripped appearance common to extremely young birds.  I suspect that the one here at Borrego will soon begin to acquire adult coloration which includes the black crown.

Images from our Florida adventure have all been published either to accompany stories I’ve written – or to illustrate concepts in various outdoor publications.  I find much satisfaction in this work and hope these pictures provide some pleasure for those who follow our blogs and my stories. I also hope these images inspire an appreciation for our natural world, which is much needed, for our natural world is taking damage at an alarming rate.



*The Dry Tortugas








4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

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Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

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What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

One Response to “More on the Black-crowned Night Heron”

  1. Tom & Sandi Palesch Says:

    Great pics Bert. Did you have to stay up late to get them?