black-crowned night heron in trouble

As I was driving through HarborWalk today, I was surprised to see a black-crowned night heron sitting on a dock close to the road.
I had never heard of nor seen one of these birds until recently, thanks to a photo posted on the Facebook.
black crowned night heron 1

I noticed that it was having trouble flying, but couldn’t tell from a distance exactly what was causing its problems.
black crowned night heron 2

At first look, I thought that this was a one-legged bird. Upon closer review and comparison, however, it became clear that one toe and its tail feathers are encased in ice.
[The iced toe is more obvious in the 1st & 2nd pix – it’s on the leg that’s pulled up in the first photo and it sticks out from the toe in the second photo.]
That’s quite the chunk of ice & snow attached to its tail. It definitely has a negative effect on the bird’s aerodynamics.
Unfortunately, iced body parts and/or getting stuck in the ice are common problems for waterfowl during the wintertime.
black crowned night heron 3-lisa

2 replies to “black-crowned night heron in trouble

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