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An odd night-heron

A group of us saw what seemed at first to be a young Yellow-crowned
Night-heron on the mudflat at Bayfront Park (J St.) on July 4. Sue
Smith's photo is in her eBird checklist at

After looking at the photo, I asked Guy McCaskie and Paul Lehman for
help in aging the bird, because I couldn't figure it out. Here's my
summary of their comments: It is not a juvenile and not right for a
1st-summer Yellow-crowned Night-heron. (For the latter, the front is
too white and the head pattern is not advanced enough.) It may be a
hybrid with Black-crowned, hatched in 2017. My understanding is that
discussion is continuing. (Thank you, Guy and Paul.)

— Sara

Sara Baase Mayers
Point Loma (San Diego)
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports