Could it be that our winter resident juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron is surviving by ice fishing??

I was concerned and did not not think the young heron could possibly find enough food after Niles Pond froze solidly over. The pond was thick with a heavy layer of ice, so thick people had been skating.

Several days ago when out for a walk, I heard a krickly sound coming from the reeds along the pond’s edge. A beautiful Red Squirrel ran across my path. A few moments later, the same krickly krickly sound, only this time when I peered in, there was the juvenile BCNH, sleepy-eyed and shifting on the cold ice.

Off he flew into the trees to warm in the sun.

Sleeping in the morning sun

I walked out onto the ice adjacent to where he had been standing and there, very clearly, was a trail of his perfectly delineated tracks. Not only that, but there was a hole in the ice, surrounded by several sets of his tracks. Having observed BCNH during the summer months standing stock still in one place for hours on end, I can just imagine that he must have stood over that hole for hours waiting for his dinner to swim by. Simply amazed!

If you are having difficulty viewing the photos large, double click and you should be able to see full size.

My camera lens was too long to get a close up of the tracks. I was only able to take these cell phone pics, but you can still see very clearly the heron’s tracks in the snowy ice, and the ice hole.

Cape Ann is located at the tippy northern end of their year round Atlantic coastal range.


It’s been a remarkable month for beautiful winter wild creatures in our midst. The photos of a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron were taken in mid-January,

He mostly stays well-hidden in the dense thickets at water’s edge. I’ve read that Night Herons occasionally spend the entire winter in northern regions. Cape Ann is at the tippy edge of their year round coastal range. Let’s hope this youngster will survive the next several months.

Black-crowned Night Herons, adults, Gloucester, in early spring and summer

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron, January 2020

Wingaersheek Beach winter whites #GloucesterMA

Scenes from Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts, an icy wonderland after first winter storm 2019

color off but still wingaersheek beach gloucester mass_gif_after first winter storm 2019 © catherine ryan

Cape Ann Museum is Free to All Cape Ann Residents During the Month of January!

Cape Ann Museum Director Rhonda Faloon shares the following message:


Happy New Year! I’m hoping you will share this with our Cape Ann
community. We want to be sure folks know that admission is free to all Cape
Ann residents this month and we don’t want anyone to miss the “Portraits of
a Working Waterfront” exhibition which closes on February 1. Please let me
know if you need more info.

All the best, Ronda


Final chance to see “Portraits of a Working Waterfront”

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to announce free admission for all Cape Ann
residents during the month of January. This is a wonderful opportunity to
visit (or revisit) the timely exhibition “Portraits of a Working
Waterfront,” which closes on February 1. The exhibition features 71
portraits by photographer Jim Hooper. The large-scale photos – ranging from
single subjects, to groups of two, three, four and more – are of men and
women involved in the shore-side and off-shore groundfish fisheries at the
present time in Gloucester, Mass. Presented in partnership with the
Northeast Seafood Coalition, the photographs offer a look at a wide range of
individuals – your family, friends and neighbors. In conjunction with the
Working Waterfront exhibition, the Museum will be hosting a number of
interesting programs in January:

Gallery Talk – January 10 at 2:00 p.m.
Artist talk with photographer Jim Hooper. Reservations required; call
978-283-0455 x10 or email

Family Fun Day: Fishing Families of Gloucester January 10, 10am to 3pm.

A program offering school-age children a chance to explore the bygone world
of the Gloucester dory fisherman and to welcome the new 10’7″ dory to the
CAM Activity Center. Children will have an opportunity to look at the
portraits in the Working Waterfront exhibition and to create their own
family portraits in the Activity Center.

Writing Workshop – January 17 at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
This writing workshop is hosted by the Museum in collaboration with the
Gloucester Writers Center. Led by Amanda Cook, the workshop will use
portraits in the special exhibition as well as objects in the Fisheries and
Maritime Galleries to inspire participants to write their stories and
experiences about the working waterfront. For reservations email

Panel Discussion – January 24 at 2:00 p.m.
A discussion focusing on the realities and issues surrounding Gloucester’s
working waterfront today. Moderated by Sean Horgan of the Gloucester Daily
Times, with Al Cottone (trawl fisherman), Viking Gustafson (manager,
Gloucester Marine Railways), Bob Koeller (owner, Seatronics), Ann Malloy
(sales and marketing director, Neptune’s Harvest) and Ed Smith (gillnet,
lobster and trawl fisherman).

Sounds of the Working Waterfront
January 31 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Composer Robert Bradshaw debuts his original composition inspired by the
sounds of Cape Ann’s waterfront. Reservations required; please call
978-283-0455 x10 or email

Photos from the exhibition “A Portrait of a Working Waterfront.” Jim Hooper.
Digital inkjet prints, 2013. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum. Gift of the
photographer, 2014.