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A nesting colony of more than 300 pairs of Black-crowned Night-Herons in the Patapsco River estuary, Baltimore Harber, Maryland was monitored from May to July 1988. The departure direction and departure time of each Heron was recorded during mornjng and evening observations at the colony. In addition, individual Herons were followed to landing sites in the estuary with small boats and aircraft. Herons appear to be quite social in foraging and may concentrate their feeding in some of the most industrialized parts of the estuary. Night-Herons may prosper in urban environments because some of their prey are attracted to intense shoreline illumination at night. New quantitative methods were developed to cope with the lack of statistical independence when dealing with social species.
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Social foraging and feeding environment of the black-crowned night heron in an industrialized estuary