Which egret

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rebecca81
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Which egret

Little egret? The blue skin around the eyes is throwing me, my field guide doesn't mention this but I did read about it elsewhere. Thanks!

http://img856.imageshack.us/img856/7117/dsc4616.jpg

Andy
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Hi and welcome to the forum. I think that that is a Little Egret, in breeding plumage. I think that the facial skin is blue only during breeding season.

Regards,
Andy.

Windhover
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Looks like a very large bird, it certainly appears to be an Eastern Great Egret. Little Egrets have a long head plume that extends backwards when in breeding plumage. Eastern Great Egret have green/turquoise lores during the breeding season. Also the neck is very long, about the length of the body, Little Egrets don't have such elongated necks.

Here are a few LE shots for comparison.

http://amatteroflight.com/gallery2/v/ausbirds/Herons/littleeg/

rebecca81
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Yes, I read that they get the blue (or red as well?) in breed plumage Andy.

Windhover - he does look big, but hard to get scale with no other birds around in the photo. There are Great Egrets here as well which I regularly photograph in breeding plumage, and they never have the blue around the eyes, always yellow. Just had a quick check of some recent Great Egret photos, the body itself looks plumper compared to this. I'll have a look if I have any other angles of this particular bird to post.

rebecca81
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If it doesn't display well here you can go directly to the link: http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/7169/dsc4630c.jpg

Quality is bad, sorry, was taken from very far away.

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hope you don't mind me editing your picture:

rebecca81
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I didn't crop it because I wanted to leave the duck in for some scale. Probably ineffective though.

Windhover
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No need for size comparison with other birds, the huge, long neck (particularly in the second photo) is certainly evidence enough that it is a breeding Eastern Great Egret not a Little Egret. :-) Cheers

rebecca81
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It's interesting then that this is the only Great Egret I've seen with the blue colouring. All the others in breeding plumage here are the normal yellow.

Windhover
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The reason for the blue lores is because it IS in breeding coloration. The normal color for the lores is yellow! I am not sure who has been giving you bird advise. :-)

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