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image for Audubon paints the Night heron in the Florida Keys and Key West

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AUDUBON


INDIAN KEY
1832


CORMORANT


ROSEATE
TERN


GRAY
KINGBIRD


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EGRET


LOUISIANA
HERON


SANDY KEY


WHITE IBIS


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ZENAIDA
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THE AUDUBON HOUSE IN
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AUDUBON'S
KEY WEST


KEY WEST AFTER
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ROSEATE
SPOONBILL


GREAT
WHITE
HERON


GREAT
BLUE
HERON


KEY WEST
DOVE


FLAMINGOS


BLUE-
HEADED
QUAIL DOVE


FRIGATE BIRD


BROWN
PELICAN


MANGROVE
CUCKOO


TORTUGAS


SOOTY
TERN


BLACK
HEADED GULL


BROWN
NODDY


CAYENNE
TERN


BROWN
BOOBY


SANDWICH
TERN


NIGHT
HERON


GREENSHANK


GREAT
MARBLED
GODWIT


MANGO
HUMMING-
BIRD


TROPIC
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John Audubon observes the Night Heron

map of Florida Keys and Key West

 

April and May, 1832 - Audubon paints the Night Heron in the Florida Keys


 

Night Heron  

 

Audubon painting of Night Heron from Birds of America 

 

 

The frog, of which I introduced a figure, is common in the retired swamps which the Night Heron frequents, and is often devoured by it. The flowering plants which you see, are abundant in the states of Georgia and South Carolina, as well as in the Floridas.

 

 

Audubon writes about the Night Heron in Volume III of his Ornithological Biography . He writes that the Night Heron is a "constant resident of the Southern States" as well as Eastern States as far north as Massachusetts.

Some of his comments about Florida and the Keys appear below:

 In the course of my winter rambles through East Florida, I met with several of the large places of resort of the Night Heron, . . . "

"At the approach of spring, great numbers of those which have wintered far south, leave their place of sojourn and migrate eastward, although probably an equal number remain in the low lands of Louisiana and the Floridas during the whole year. There. indeed, I have found them with eggs in April and may, and as young birds just fledged were very abundant at the same places, I concluded that these eggs were of the second laying. . . . "

As to breeding places Audubon writes,

"In the Floridas they are partial to the mangroves that overhang the salt-water; . . . . . Those which I found in the Florida were all placed on the south-west sides of mangrove islands, but were farther apart from each other, some only about a foot above high-water mark, while others were in the very tops of the trees, which, however, scarcely exceeded twenty feet in height. . . . "

 


 

Additional information about the night heron may be found by following the link below to the Florida Breeding Bird Atlas. The Atlas, a collaborative effort of Audubon of Florida, the Florida Ornithological Society, and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission provides information of general status, habitat, and status of  breeding species in Florida

 
 http://wildflorida.org/bba/BCNH.htm

 


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