Word spread quickly in our southeast Michigan birding community when the Yellow-crowned Night Heron was reported at a popular birding spot in Washtenaw County.
By the time I arrived in the evening, just before dusk, more than two dozen birders and photographers had already posted their sighting of the medium-sized heron.
What was everyone excited about?
It wasn’t that most of the people who stopped by the shore of the Huron River had not seen a Yellow-crowned Night Heron before.
Though it was a first-time sighting for a few people.
What captured so much attention is that it was the first sighting of the Yellow-crowned Night Heron in Washtenaw County in the past 30 years.
Making it a county-first rare bird for many birders.
That’s a big accomplishment for many birders who document their bird findings by county.
From what I heard from one of the birders who tracks bird sighting information more carefully than I do, it was likely the third or fourth record of the bird in Washtenaw County.
I was glad to see it!
I saw a Yellow-crowned Night Heron for the first time last year. And with this sighting, I’ve seen it in three Michigan counties, all in southeast Michigan.
Throughout the day, people were finding the heron on trees along the river, partially hidden in the leaves of the trees further down the path.
By the time I arrived in the evening, it was perched on a log not more than 30 feet from where I parked my vehicle.
One of the fastest times I’ve ever found a rare bird.