Rare bird spotted

Yesterday morning around 4:00 am I was with a few friends down at the water front after getting off work. We were sitting in the car watching the water, and since it was the longest day of the year it got bright out very fast. In any event, we were sitting there, and all of a sudden I saw this huge bird swoop down and at the time I thought it was grabbing fish out of the water. It looked to me like a stork because all I’d seen was a dark silhouette of a large bird with a huge neck. When I told everyone else to look, we were amazed at what we’d seen. Sitting perched on the water was a very very large bird, probably at least 3 feet tall, with a very long and skinny neck and a long beak. What was weirdest about the bird was that it looked like it had no feathers and had scaly reptile like skin that was greeny brown in color, like that of an alligator or crocodile. A friend in the back was amazed and got out of the car and started yelling and freaking out before we could get a picture on our cell phone and the bird started to fly away. My friend said it looked like the bird had feathers, but the rest of us (3 people) were convinced that it was featherless. This was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen, it looked like it would be a mythical creature of some sort. If anyone else knows what I’m talking about, or has seen a bird like this previously, I’d be very interested to know what kind of bird/creature this is. I’m just really surprised because the top half of the bird looked like some form of dinosaur. I’m very interested to see if anyone else has some information regarding this subject.

First thought to me is a Heron Crane? That’s the name I grew up knowing them by at least. They are pretty cool looking but I do see them often.

Sounds like a Heron. I’ve seen them around before. Did it look something like this?


yep. sounds like a heron.  comes out of no where and screeches like a teradactyl.

Take a look here:

flickr.com/search/?q=%22prince+r … ct=6&s=int

That’s a link for a bunch of Herons.

Photos of a heron in Rupert that I took in January:

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Mig, what kind of camera do you use? You always come off with these great shots. Just curious as to what you use since I just have a Nikon Cool pick which I picked up with Air Miles.

No, and that’s the weird thing, is that I thought it was a stork or a crane, but it looked nothing like that, the only thing that was similar was the skinny neck and long head, but the neck was straight and thicker than that. Also, it didn’t appear to have any feathers, iits skin looked scaly and greenish brown. Like reptile skin. And there were no different color, the whole thing was the same color.

Just a thought…  I really don’t know anything about wild birds, but I know that domesticated birds (if you can say there is such a thing) can molt and get really gross looking and scaly.  Maybe you saw some sort of heron or crane who was in an advanced stage of molting or who had some sort of disease?  Just a guess.  Either that or it was a pterodactyl.  :astonished:

The bird I saw looked somewhat like this, with a very long and smoothly curved neck, like what I’d imagine ogopogo’s neck would look like, very long sturdy legs, and an odd body. The coloring of this bird is similar, but I’m 99 percent positive it didn’t have feathers. Also, the neck was thin, but not as skinny as a herons, it was just skinny in proportion to the rest of its body… like a long neck dinosaur or a giraffe.

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I looked up pictures of pterodactyls and they didn’t really look like what I saw. The skeleton of one, did, however. The wing span might’ve been a bit smaller, and the neck was definitely longer, but the shape of the wings when it flew away was very different from a normal bird. Also, I don’t recall the head having that cone.

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It may have looked like it didn’t have feathers, but that may just have been an optical illusion, especially at night. 

Unless it was a large bat?  Which it could have been.  How big was it?  Did it fly completely differently than birds usually fly?

How about other types of cranes?  Sandhill crane? 


Just the cheap Canon 300D, though lately I’ve been using the 450D.

We get Sandhills in Haida Gwaii, maybe one got lost.  :astonished:)

Definitely not the crane, it was probably between 3 and 4 feet tall. I thought it was only about 3 feet tall, but I’m bad at visualizing heights at a distance. The people I was with said it was larger, so I’ll take their word for it. We all agreed that it did not look like a normal bird, and the reason it flew different was when it flew away, it looked like one of those corny gargoyle shows when they just leap away into flight, it didn’t flap its wings it sort of just leaped forward at a very steep angle and flew off that way. I know that what I’m saying doesn’t sound very reasonable because I wouldn’t believe it either, which is why I’m so stunned over the whole thing. It’s very unfortunate that I didn’t get a picture, because I would have liked to shown everyone so there was something concrete in which to work with. I guess all you can take out of this is just keep your eyes open for some strange mythical/extinct looking bird like creatures! Maybe someone else will see something down by the waterfront and have something to report back with!

Yeah, perhaps a bat?  They fly like you’re describing.

If no feathers, then it’s not a bird.

Your description of a bird being 3-4 feet tall with a weird neck fits the Sandhill crane or the Great Blue heron theory which is the simplest explanation.  You seem to think about a mythical creature a lot, yet this explanation is certainly not the simplest. 
Remember, it was first light and you were probably tired from work and this made it a little hard to see clearly what it was.  If you had never seen a heron or a crane before, it would be hard to tell what you saw.  The featherless look may also be attributed to poor light conditions as details are hard to see in fading light.  These two birds are quite big.  The Sandhill crane as a wingspan of 6-7 feet and the heron isn’t much smaller so it creates a very impressive scene. 
But if you are still thinking about a mythical creature,  go check this website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_birds

Cormorant maybe as well?

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Here’s some more heron and sandhill cranes to.
Links to a bunch more Heron Shots.
And to more cranes
flickr.com/search/?w=4254614 … ill&m=text

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I have a feeling someone is pulling our legs.

It is not that I am stuck on believing this was mythical, it’s just that I have seen many heron’s and cranes in the past, a past time of mine is sitting at the waterfront and watching the birds, so I have seen many of the birds local to Prince Rupert. Believe me, I am not one to be overly excited about things that don’t exist, I just am very interested in knowing what it was that I saw. And you’re right, with the combination of being tired from work and the ill-lit sky, it could have had feathers, but I’m certain it was not a heron, just because of the shape and thickness of the head and beak. Possibly a crane if anything.