Foto van Rudi Van Onderbergen

Black-crowned night heron spotted at East Flemish lake

A pair of rare black-crowned night herons has been spotted at the Donkmeer Lake in Berlare (East Flanders).  The bird is particularly rare in Flanders and has mated.

Michaël Krapoen of the not-for-profit organisation Durme is ecstatic.  Both an adult pair as well as two juveniles have been spotted.  The birds are exceptionally rare in Flanders and even in Belgium as a whole: “The birds love to sit on tree trunks that have fallen into the water”. 

Young birds are easy to identify thanks to their brown feathers.  Adults have a coat of feathers with grey and blue hues as well as a magnificent crown.

The black-crowned night heron is a migratory bird that will soon seek out southern climes.  This will be a challenge for the young birds that will face many new dangers and have to find enough food. One in two birds won’t survive its first year.

Michaël’s organisation is working together with the local authorities to make the Donkmeer Lake an attractive spot for herons and other birds like the osprey and the black kite to mate and rear their young. Every effort is made to allow reed to grow.  It’s here that the herons can hide and catch little fish and other water animals.

A young black-crowned night heron
Foto van Rudi Van Onderbergen

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