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Bird identification

I saw a bird in a salt marsh in NJ that had long legs and what looked like a flexible feather (about 3 inches long) hanging down from the back of it's head. It was a little smaller than an egret. Any ideas what kind of bird this was?

Birding Expert - George H. Harrison

Your mystery bird was a black-crowned night-heron, a common summer bird in the wetlands of your region.

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Black-crowned Night-Heron
Nycticorax nycticorax

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