The Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea) is the rarest heron to migrate north to San
Diego County from Mexico. It ranges from the Tijuana River National Estuarine
Research Reserve to San Diego Bay and La Jolla Shores.
Since 2006, one or two pairs have nested annually in pine trees at
the Imperial Beach Sports Park adjacent to the Tijuana River Estuary. The
species has also nested at Sea World and North Island Naval Air Station on
Standing quietly on its long yellow legs, a Yellow-crowned Night
Heron may forage by day or night searching for small crustaceans like fiddler
crabs and crayfish. The species prefers shallow coastal marshes and wetlands
and tends to nest near or over water.
PHOTO CREDIT: Keenan Adams, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service