PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Nature's Clocks

Black-crowned Night-Heron will feed during the day, but feeds more at night, Corkscrew,2006 Apr 8 lo res(1).jpg

The Black-crowned Night-Heron does most of its feeding at night. Its large red eyes may help it see in the dark and – unlike other herons and egrets -- it doesn’t often respond to mosquitos that land on its facial skin. By staying perfectly still, small fishes come closer and are thus easier for it to see and to catch.

Reddish Egrets use a different ploy. They feed at low tide well out from the shore where the bottom is less disturbed by wave action. They capture their prey by surprise – leaping and landing quickly flailing their wings as they jerk their head and neck from side to side to spot fishes that have been startled by their landing – only to perform the same antics again and again.

Purple Martins time their migration by day length and temperature shifts. These give them more feeding time and more insects in the air. Among their favored foods are dragonflies.