CLOSED: Please help ID these birds...herons?

Neptune, NJ(Zone 7a)

I apologize for the poor photos. (I was afraid I would scare these guys away if I opened the door for a better shot!)

I came across 3-4 of these birds in the trees of my yard this morning around 9am. I live very close to a river inlet, apx 3 miles from the ocean in central NJ. To me, they look like very small herons...or very large kingfishers.

I've looked in various books and websites and have been unable to ID it on my own. I've never seen them before, and I'm so excited to find out what they might be.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thumbnail by morningdove225 Thumbnail by morningdove225 Thumbnail by morningdove225 Thumbnail by morningdove225
Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

Black-crowned Night-Heron. Looks like black head with white, all I can really see

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Yellow-crowned Night Herons: note the white cheek patch and black chin, and dark overall body plumage.

Resin

Neptune, NJ(Zone 7a)

Thank you so much!

I was leaning toward the Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, but after reading they were nocturnal, I thought I had it wrong.

Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

Thanks Resin for the correction. Didn't pay attention to what my mind said and fingers actually typed.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Quote from morningdove225 :
but after reading they were nocturnal,


They are largely nocturnal for feeding (on the ground, looking for fish, etc.). In the day, they sit around in trees, sometimes asleep, but sometimes awake and moving around if there's a potential predator (includes humans!) nearby. In other words, exactly as the pic shows ;-)

Resin

Neptune, NJ(Zone 7a)

I can't thank the two of you enough for taking the time to help!

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