Ive spent about a cumulative year birding India and a good part of that was
spent trying to get egrets (and cormorants) to species. The finer field
marks of dark tipped bill and shorter gape line were ones that I eventually
gave up on in favor of overall proportions, which are much more reliable
when you get the hang of them.
I'm rusty, as I haven't been back in 18 months, but in India I would've
called this bird an intermediate based on bill alone. Of course, I would be
more careful with this bird in Oregon, and hope for some better photos,
particularly with neck outstretched next to a similarly posed great egret,
which is usually all you need. As of now the gape line and bill color favor
great, but giss outweighs that in favor of intermediate.
I've attached some crops of the putative intermediate (from Courtney and
Eric, photos 1 and 4), a confirmed intermediate (photo 2), and a great
egret (photo 3). I'm also reaching out to some friends in India in case
I've lost my egret eyes.
Hope it sticks around long enough for me to go see it!
On Thu, Dec 20, 2018, 10:39 Alan Contreras <acontrer56...> wrote:
> I have seen Intermediate in Australia some years ago. I recall it being
> not much smaller than a Great but having more the “look” of a Little Blue
> Heron in neck and head shape and maybe behavior.
> Alan Contreras
> Eugene, Oregon
> On Dec 20, 2018, at 10:29 AM, Daniel Farrar <jdanielfarrar...>
> One feature I find interesting in Eric's photos is the difference in bill
> shape. The Great clearly has a slight down curve to the bill. The smaller
> egret looks much straighter. Not sure if that is an Intermediate trait, I
> have zero experience with the species.
> On Thu, Dec 20, 2018, 10:22 AM Sally Hill <1sallyhill.9...> wrote:
>> For clarification: Is it only Eric's photos that this person reviewed or
>> is it some combination of Sylvia's and Pam's and Eric's? My Birds of
>> Australia, (Pizzey and Knight) suggest that the Intermediate Egret is
>> smaller and daintier than GREG with extended head and neck about equal to
>> body length, head rounder, bill shorter and deeper and line of gape to just
>> below eye , not past it as in GREG. When hunting peers with neck extended
>> and stirs with foot. Flies with quicker wind beats than GREG. This
>> reference fails to mention anything about a black tip on the bill. If your
>> expert has any additional ID tips it would be helpful to know.
>> Sally Hill
>> Eugene Oregon
>> On Thu, Dec 20, 2018 at 9:20 AM Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10...>
>>> On Dec 17, 2018, at 2:50 PM, Eric Carlson <carl8630...> wrote:
>>> I have photos of the slightly smaller looking Great Egret on my ebird
>>> checklist if anyone is interested in looking at them.
>>> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50700675 >>>
>>> Bird up,
>>> https://ebonph.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/ask-the-experts-2/ >>>
>>> Hello Eric and all:
>>> A very seasoned Asian birding expert sent me an email suggesting that
>>> the bird looks right for an Intermediate Egret. I can’t be sure if there
>>> is or isn’t a dark tip to the bill into photos. As Dave Irons wrote,
>>> Intermediate Egrets usually have a dark tipped bill, but apparently not
>>> I hope someone gets sharper photos. I also hope no one does, because if
>>> it is an Intermediate Egret, I don’t want to fly back to Oregon from Tucson
>>> for it (like I have for two other birds in past years).
>>> Great Egrets do of course vary in size based on sex, and somewhat so by
>>> Jeff Gilligan