Several months ago I was walking over to the cafeteria at work (we have 52 acres on the property) and I saw a handful of yellow crowned night herons hanging out in the pine trees up against one of the buildings. They were building nests! I kept thinking I need to bring my good camera to work to get some pictures but at the time you could just see the tops of the mom's heads on the nests. There were 12 nests in all over a few weeks. Now several months later I noticed some of the babies getting bigger and finally brought my camera in to get some pictures now that you can see the babies sitting outside of the nest. The sad part of the story is out of the 12 nests only 3 were productive. Blackbirds have been attacking the nests and fighting with the night herons over the eggs. Coworkers have told me stories of being close by and hearing load screaming going on between the two species. There are lots of broken eggs on the ground. As of this date we have one nest with 3 big babies, one nest with 2 babies and one nest with a mom still sitting on hopefully eggs.
It's funny how different the babies look from their parents. The morning I took the above pictures there were no parents around the nests. I'm sure they were close by getting food. The babies start out brown and spotted and later turn grey with dark grey and yellow on the head. On the way from work on the same day, the below night heron was sitting on a utility line on my street so you can see what the adult looks like.