Date: 10/7/17 10:08 pm
From: Jay Withgott <withgott...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Old news - Malheur "Snowy Hegret" photos

Hi all --

Well, "Hegret-gate" drags on.....

Thanks to Janet Lamberson for some very nice photos of the "Hegret," aka "Cattlish Egret". I meant to get my own photos and videos dealt with a long time ago, and have finally done so, and here they are:

Some of these photos show the legs and feet in great close-up detail, which I don't believe other photos have shown yet. The videos show behavior and the many feathers with darkish color as the bird flies.

The legs and feet will probably get you thinking "pure Snowy," which has been my tentative stance all along. Shawneen is correct about the bill shape & color, but I'm holding out -- perhaps unrealistically -- for the idea that the bird is (or was on 18 Sept. when the photos were taken at the OBA meeting) such a young juvie bird that the bill had not yet attained its true adult structure. Look at all the downy scruff on the head and what appear possibly to be feathers still in shafts(?) on the bird's back. Clearly the dark color is either simply aberrant or else a genetic indicator of Little Blue parentage, but if the latter, it seems odd that the primary tips are not dark.

I have sent these photos and videos to the ID Frontiers listserv just now, so hopefully we will get some expert feedback from around the country and the world, and if it is useful I will summarize it and forward it to OBOL once that discussion is concluded.

Happy hegreting, everyone,

Jay Withgott

PS -- And yes, yes, I know that when the bird pooped in one of my videos, I should have collected it for DNA. I did not think of it at the time. A fun project for someone else, perhaps, if the bird is still there.....

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