I spent yesterday morning photographing at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Box Elder County, Utah. Black-crowned Night Herons seemed to be everywhere on the south side of the auto tour loop, both adults and hatch year birds.
Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) are wading birds that are mainly active at night, dusk and early dawn. They are common and widespread throughout North America and the world and can be found in Utah year round near lakes, ponds, streams and marshes.
I looked them up on my iBird Pro app this morning and learned that the adults of this species do not distinguish between their own chicks and chicks from other nests and they will brood chicks that are not their own.
I photographedthis adult Black-crowned Night Heron as it flew over an area of cattails and rushes after it flushed. It looks like there was a long piece of filamentous algae attached to its wing tip.