Date: 12/21/18 10:31 pm
From: Nels Nelson <nelsnelson7...>
Subject: [obol] Re: The EGRET
https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=18673

In addition to this great info. from Shawneen, I found the info. in the
above link to be quite helpful in the ID of Intermediate Egret.

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On Fri, Dec 21, 2018 at 10:00 PM Shawneen Finnegan <
<shawneenfinnegan...> wrote:

> I sent a message out to various folks who lead tours in Africa and Asia
> with Sally’s new photos from today. The first to respond is Kevin Zimmer
> who leads for VENT.
>
> We looked for it last Sunday without success when we thought we were
> looking for a Cattle Egret. Now the soonest we can return is the 24th.
>
> Crazy...
>
>
>
> Hi Shawneen -
>
> From what I can see in these photos, I’d say that your egret is consistent
> with an identification of Intermediate Egret. It would be nice to see it
> with its neck extended to get a better idea of relative neck length. I see
> a fair number of Intermediate Egrets in Africa, and the separation of that
> species from Great Egret is not always straightforward, particularly at a
> distance. There have been a number of times when, at a distance, I took a
> smaller, shorter-billed bird to be an Intermediate Egret, only to discover
> when I got closer, that it was a Great Egret — these likely represented
> females, which are known, on average, to be smaller and shorter-billed than
> males.
>
> The one mark that I rely on in Africa, is the extension of the gape line
> relative to the eye. In Great Egret (at least the subspecies found in
> eastern Africa), the gape always extends noticeably beyond the rear edge of
> the eye. In Intermediate, it extends only to the rear edge of the eye (at
> most). The gape line on the Oregon bird is consistent with that of the
> Intermediate Egrets that I have studied in the field, and wrong for Great
> Egret. My one caveat with respect to this mark, is that I can’t really say
> that I’ve paid attention to the length of the gape in North American Great
> Egrets, to see if it consistently extends beyond the eye as it does in the
> African populations. After all, on this continent, there is no expected ID
> contender for which that mark becomes an issue!
>
> The Oregon bird also looks to have a more rounded profile to the crown
> than I would expect from Great Egret, and the bill looks to be on the short
> side for that species as well. I am curious about what appears to be some
> remnant patches of buff coloration in the plumage (or is that the optical
> effect of wind-blown grass in the foreground?), almost like what you would
> expect from a Cattle Egret in transition.
>
> In summary, I see no obvious reason discounting an ID of Intermediate
> Egret, although I would be hesitant to bet the farm on it without having
> seen it in the field, and especially where it could be compared directly
> with obvious Great Egrets.
>
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