Date: 9/12/17 11:52 am From: Nathaniel Wander <nw105...> Subject: [obol] White egrets at Malheur
It's easier to be wrong then right birding-at-a-distance and purely from photos but ....
1-Cattle Egret: None of the photos I saw in yesterday's OBOL posts looks right for this species in either bill shape or head/body structure. Bills and necks are too long and slender, heads too smoothly rounded. Moreover, I have seen thousands of CAEG in Belize and never once have I seen one hunting on a pond alongside another white egret species--they have always been on fields, with or without bovines/equines/ovines, wet or dry. P.S. Cattle Egrets in India are generally considered a separate species from Bulbulcus ibis, at least, Eurasian ornithologists term them B coroandus.
2-Little Blue Heron: I believe this species shows a two-toned bill in all plumages, with a dark tip, whatever color the rest of the bill. I didn't see this feature on any of the birds.By mid-September, I'd expect more bluing in the wings of a maturing LBHE.Only the Snowy Egret (and the Eurasian Little Egret E garzeta) show the dark legs, yellow feet pattern. Maybe it's the light, but where feet are visible, I see some yellow on those of all the pictured egrets.
Nathaniel WanderPortland, OR
Max Planck is supposed to have said: "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."Andreas Wagner observed of Planck's remark: "Science, like nature, advances one funeral at a time." Arrival of the Fittest, p.197.