UPDATE: Some real birders have chipped in and corrected my identification of the bird in the photos below. It is not a night-heron. More likely, it is a juvenile White Ibis. Thank you, Jim Putnam, for first pointing out my misidentification in your comment.
While I was relaxing in a lawn chair recently, something caught my eye. A large bird, apparently having took off from our pond, flew across our yard and landed in a tree near the northern boundary of our property. I didn’t recognize it, so I got up and slowly walked to a location with a better view. It appeared to be a juvenile heron of some sort, something I had never before seen on our property.
Although it was late in the day and the sun was already hidden by the thick forest on the west side of our property, I decided to try to photograph this strange visitor.
Canon EOS 7D (329mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO3200)
The heron did not seem terribly concerned with my photographic activities. Being so young, I guess it had not developed the fear of humans characteristic of most adult wading birds I’ve encountered. This bird ultimately stayed on that perch for about half an hour.
Canon EOS 7D (329mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO3200)
I went to another location to get a side view, but was not very successful. Muscadine grapevines were in the way.
Canon EOS 7D (375mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO3200)
I was not able to identify the precise species of this juvenile. I am guessing it is likely either a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron or a Black-crowned Night-Heron, but I am not a birder. Please comment if you can improve on the identification.