Next time you find the light fading and resign yourself to a night sky filled with owls and bats, remember that some diurnal denizens like to stay out late too.

Red-tailed Hawks have a habit of hunting well into the night if there is any available light and the getting is good. Gophers that live near streetlights beware.

I suppose their light gathering abilities work well enough in dim conditions to create some overlap with the nightly arrival of their nocturnal relatives. I’ve often seen Northern Harriers overlap with Short-eared Owls as the night shift swings into action.

Dining after dark… romantic.

Great Egrets also fiddle around in the shallows when the evening comes. Perhaps it is because I’m often an urban birder that I see more birds out taking advantage of the unintentional light leaking from our homes and streets.

This Great Blue Heron wants to be a Night Heron but the flash puts the lie to his disguise.

Better to just accept your diurnal nature and head home through a resplendent sky. See you tomorrow… Bright and early.

And I’ll see you all in two weeks.

Written by Walter
Walter Kitundu is an artist and designer, instrument builder and bird photographer. As an artist he has created hand built record players powered by the wind and rain, fire and earthquakes, birds, light, and the force of ocean waves. Walter has performed and been in residence at art centers and science museums internationally. He has performed with the renowned Kronos Quartet, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, the electronic music duo Matmos, and the legendary Marshall Allen - in venues from Carnegie Hall to a high school library in Egilstaadir, Iceland. In 2008 Walter became a MacArthur Fellow. Walter loves photographing birds and is an ongoing volunteer with the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. He was hooked when a Red-tailed Hawk landed at his side, ate a caterpillar, then refused to leave. He is a Senior Design Developer for the Studio Gallery at the Exploratorium in San Francisco where he designs and builds environments for learning. You can see more of his work on his blog, Bird Light Wind.