Mystery bird in Oakland
August 19, 2007 2:33 PM   Subscribe

What the heck bird is this, seen walking around in Oakland several blocks from the bay front?

I know these are photos are Nessie quality blurry, but I think you can see well enough the general shape and coloring. He was at least 15" from the top of his head to the tip of his stumpy tail (compare to the car tire), appeared to have small wings like a baby bird or an ostrich (but a short neck), and his beak was fairly long. His feet weren't really webbed, as I remember. Is he a lost baby of some giant mother? Zoo escapee?
posted by tula to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
I would hazard a juvenile green heron. Are you anywhere near the water?
posted by cephalopodcast at 2:45 PM on August 19, 2007

Green Heron fledgling or chick is my best guess - it would explain the size, beak and non-webbed feet.
posted by nelleish at 2:45 PM on August 19, 2007

several blocks from the bay front

hmm, my bad. Obviously near the water.
posted by cephalopodcast at 2:47 PM on August 19, 2007

Whoops - I guess my last explanatory link should go here as Wikipedia is using "wader" where I would use "shorebird."
posted by nelleish at 2:48 PM on August 19, 2007

Best answer: If not a fledgling green heron, it might be a black-crowned night heron. It's hard to tell from the photos if the beak is all one color or not. They both nest in trees/shrubs near water.
posted by rtha at 3:09 PM on August 19, 2007

Response by poster: Heron, yes, that's close, but...hmmm.

Ah, yes rtha, that's it. I found another photo here that looks just like the one we saw. Poor guy, hope he found his way back to the bay.
posted by tula at 3:18 PM on August 19, 2007

I'm 2nding the black-crowned night heron. This Flickr user is an awesome photographer of bay area birds. Brightens my days.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:35 PM on August 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

I see these all the time at Lake Merritt (they hang out at the duck pond). They are night herons, but my partner and I call them "sulky birds" (since they are always hunched over and glare at you with their red eyes).

Then we saw them fight for bread with the ducks. Now we call them "stabby birds."
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 6:25 PM on August 20, 2007

« Older Find post code with latitude & longitude.   |   Shipping Large Screen TV Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.