A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was found in Grand Manan on April 26 in Woodward's Cove. It was resighted twice, once on May 4 and once on May 6 in the same general area. We were visiting the area and were lucky to see it on May 4.
The bird is an adult and was feeding in a very wet ditch on the roadside, under the cover of heavy bushes. Although in a difficult position for photos, it did allow us to walk within 30 metres of it without flushing.
The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron is a rare bird in New Brunswick. Birds of New Brunswick: An Annotated List lists it as a very rare summer visitor; casual in spring. There was only one record prior to 1970 and there has been an average of one per year after that. Of the approximate 30 records for the province, 20 have been from Grand Manan.
This species normally breeds in the southern US from Texas to Virginia. It is sometimes found as far north as Massachusetts along the coast. It is a permanent resident of coastal Florida, Georgia and South Carolina as well as Texas and Louisiana. It is active during the day or night and feeds on aquatic invertebrates. It is about 24 inches tall and could be confused only with the Black-crowned Night-Heron which is a common summer resident. The Black-crowned has a black crown and the Yellow-crowned has a yellowish-white crown and a white cheek patch. Juveniles are difficult to differentiate from those of the Black-crowned. (Please refer to a field guide).
It is hoped that this bird remains on Grand Manan for the summer and that it perhaps finds a mate, although this is unlikely.