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Little Blue Heron (Immature)

Egretta caerulea


Immature Description White, with pale, black-tipped bill and greenish legs. Enters adult plumage in the first spring after hatching and may be pied white and blue.


I thought it was Snowy Egret at first, but blue tinge to upper beak and lack of yellow around eyes. Also slightly taller than Snowy's I am used to seeing!


AshleyT 8 years ago

Keep in mind it is not a white morph though, Little Blue Herons are solid white as immatures.

James McNair
James McNair 8 years ago

Thank you SallyMoranParker and AshleyT. From images I have looked up since suggestions and size as stated by Ashley it appears more like a Little Blue Heron

AshleyT 8 years ago

If you read my comment Sally, I already mentioned that. I also mentioned the other possibility it could be, which at this time of the year can be difficult to tell apart.

SallyMoranParker 8 years ago

James, the All About Birds website states that the first year Little Blue Herons are pure white. Do you think it could be that?

AshleyT 8 years ago

It's either an immature Little Blue Heron or a white morph Reddish Egret. I have such a hard time telling between the two, especially since it isn't breeding season yet. If it was Great Egret size, it's a Reddish Egret. The white morphs are decently common in Florida. If it was closer to Snowy Egret size, then it's a Little Blue Heron. They will start molting soon and getting in their dark feathers. Normally you could tell them apart by the bill too, but since it isn't breeding season yet they both have really dull bills.

James McNair
Spotted by
James McNair

Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA

Spotted on Mar 3, 2014
Submitted on Mar 3, 2014

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