The Yellow Crowned Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)

This post is also available in: Dutch, Papiamentu.

Sleeping juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron

Photo by: Denis Muys

Sometimes when you are walking around in certain natural areas you might find an unexpected surprise, just like the surprise Denis Muys encountered when visiting the area of Boka Tabla on the rugged north shore of the island of Curacao.
Perfectly camouflaged in its surroundings this juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron was taking a much needed nap after what was presumably an eventful night of finding food. Although these animals tend to stay in the neighborhood of the sea, it is more usual to find them in the shallow waters in between the roots of mangroves and along the southern shore of the island, where catching food is much easier.
This bird species can be found as a breeding bird on all the former Dutch Antilles islands and is called Krabèchi in Papiamentu and Geelkruinnachtreiger in Dutch.
The juvenile in the picture has a mottled brown color with white patches,but the adults are bluish-gray with a black head and a yellowish crown.
The diet of these birds consists mainly of fiddler crabs and other larger crabs, fish and even lizards and insects.