Lake Temescal in the Oakland foothills hosts quite a variety of birds, and it must have been a productive breeding site for Black-crowned Night Herons this year. Several juvenile herons populated the creek and lakeside, amazingly immune to human presence as they posed for photos.
Juvenile birds lack the striking black cap and white chest and neck of the adults. Mottled brown and white wings will gradually change to a pale gray over three years as they mature.
Usually these birds hunt during the night and early morning hours (hence, their name!), but they may be active during the daytime as well. This is probably the most wide-spread heron in the world, breeding and feeding in fresh and salt water wetlands throughout much of North and South America, Africa, and Asia.