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Heron hybrid?

Description:

Pied heron (with a Snowy Egret for size comparison). A rare color morph? Melanism (although it's blue which isn't usual)? A hybrid seems to be the most likely answer but hybrid what? Little Blue x Snowy or Reddish x Snowy were proposed but Tricolored x Snowy seems the most likely.

Habitat:

Old clay mining ponds that are now part of a fishing park.

Notes:

Video of feeding behavior is here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48760528@N0...

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10 Comments

gatorfellows
gatorfellows 8 years ago

Thanks for clarifying. I could not see the bill or legs all that clearly. Hope you find it and identify it too.

LoisStacey
LoisStacey 8 years ago

Not that I'm aware of. I've had field trips or other trips (or rain) every weekend since and haven't been back out there. The water in that pond is up much higher now so I'm not sure where else to look unless you look around the rookery and see if it's hanging out there (assuming it's still in town).

Liam
Liam 8 years ago

Has this bird been relocated since Willie went out? I should have gone out to see if i could find it when I could.

LoisStacey
LoisStacey 8 years ago

The white bird is definitely Snowy Egret. The blue bird however is not a molting Little Blue. Note that the bill shape and color are not right (Little Blues have bicolored bills) and the leg color is also grayish, not the yellow-green of a Little Blue.

gatorfellows
gatorfellows 8 years ago

Assuming the white is a Snowy Egret, the other could easily be a juvenile Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea. Here is a good series of molting photos for you to compare: http://www.robert-harrington.com/photos/...

williefromwi
williefromwi 8 years ago

The white one I believe is a Snowy Egret, do you remember seeing yellow feet on the white bird? If so, that would solidify the ID of this bird. The blue one, is possibly a tricolored Heron. I will provide a link to a Tri-colored Heron it is as follows: http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/115...

LoisStacey
LoisStacey 8 years ago

The white bird is definitely Snowy Egret.

I initially thought Reddish Egret but the overall body shape isn't right and its feeding behavior is not as frenetic as Reddish usually is.

The Tricolored x Snowy argument can be found here with good details on why the author thought that the most likely. I'm still looking for other ideas however!

https://www.facebook.com/notes/leica-bir...

Lacey Bear
Lacey Bear 8 years ago

I was thinking a great blue heron with a white morph. Or perhaps the other is a white egret...

Jellis
Jellis 8 years ago

(sorry cut off) it has a white phase. That one could be an immature one.

Jellis
Jellis 8 years ago

Could be a Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) and from what I read the Reddish has a morphed White.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddish_Egr...

LoisStacey
Spotted by
LoisStacey

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Spotted on Jul 22, 2012
Submitted on Sep 12, 2012

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