I Thought It Was a Green Heron

When I lived in Alexandria, it was adjacent to Huntley Meadow Park, a Fairfax County Park complete with a boardwalk over a beaver pond,

  • dozens of waterfowl,
  • deer,
  • coyote,
  • fox,
  • muskrats,
  • snakes,
  • frogs.

We often saw Canada geese and Great Blue Herons but we never saw a Green Heron.

I had to move to San Diego before I thought I saw my first Green Heron.  Located on Paradise Point in Mission Bay, the Barefoot  Bar & Grill is a tiki-inspired bar and restaurant.  The bar also sells Swimmy Snacks to feed the fish swimming in its saltwater aquarium in a fenced-off portion of the Bay.  Although these fish do not appear on the menu, they do have a few feathered fishermen. While the California Brown Pelicans occasionally did a fly-by, one small heron seemed to be a regular diner.

On one visit, the heron decided to explore as it wandered around the patio tables as if looking for additional food choices besides fresh fish.

If it was a Green Heron (which I now doubt), ” from a distance, the Green Heron is a dark, stocky bird hunched on slender yellow legs at the water’s edge, often hidden behind a tangle of leaves. Seen up close, it is a striking bird with a velvet-green back, rich chestnut body, and a dark cap often raised into a short crest. These small herons crouch patiently to surprise fish with a snatch of their daggerlike bill. They sometimes lure in fish using small items such as twigs or insects as bait.”

Now I’m wondering what type of heron it was.  What do you think it is?