A few more observations on the possible little blue heron
>> Our observation notes on possible little blue heron (bird on right) and cattle egret (bird on left in horizontal photo) at west side of bridge at the Narrows MNWR, Sunday AM and PM.
>> The white plumage appears almost identical on both, down to the mottled gray smokey smudges on wings, primaries and secondaries just different areas in some cases. Leg and foot color, very similar, a mottled yellow green color but at times in different areas. Bill color is different, yellow vs a bone pale flesh color with small black tip. Bill length seems slightly longer on bird to right. And this bird appeared slightly larger in body size. In the photo it was about 12 inches closer than bird on left.
>> The bird on the right spent most of the time in shallow water (approx 90%) and the left bird spent most of time out of water along rocky shoreline (about 70%), both catching young carp every few minutes.
>> The bird on right seemed to catch fewer carp and more aquatic inverts, however the carp he caught tended to be larger. The right bird walked slowly thru the water placing feet carefully, neck stretched out with head angled down for the most part. Only once did it flare wings turning back quickly to look over its shoulder at a carp near the surface. The left bird seemed to hunt with a lower body posture and head closer to water, and again, mostly from rocks on dike. He also caught more carp but usually smaller. The carp in the photo was considered a large carp for the fish being caught.
>> They did tend to feed together usually within 25 feet but at times 100 feet apart. But feeding strategies were different, shoreline vs water. Neither bird showed any fear of us walking within 25 feet on dike.
What were lacking on the possible little blue heron were the small black marks on the wing tips, which can be hard to see.
> Three photos attached and more at.
>> We also saw great egrets, one snowy egret (dark bill, yellow feet) with great blue herons, ibis and many black-crowned night herons in a carp feeding frenzy with many other birds later in day on east side of bridge.
>> 31 species Sunday night.
Location the Narrows, the narrow channel that joins Malheur and Mud lakes on MNWR. Water levels from Malheur lake have recently receded to the point where a small isolated shallow body of water remains on each side of the bridge on Hwy 205 at the Narrows. Thousands of young carp 1-3 inches in size are trapped in the remaining water creating a feeding frenzy for various water birds. As the fish run out or the water dries up the birds will move to other sites on Malheur lake providing the same oppurtunity but unfortunately not in view. Enjoy this unique opportunity of young carp in shallow water with birds in pursuit on the sideline while it lasts!