Date: 12/23/18 8:25 am
From: Sally Hill <1sallyhill.9...>
Subject: [obol] Re: The EGRET
I just added three more photos of the egret in question to my ebird report.
In my rush to get something out I overlooked two that have the neck more
extended.
Sally Hill
Eugene Oregon



On Sun, Dec 23, 2018 at 7:35 AM Sally Hill <1sallyhill.9...> wrote:

> I must say that I have never really bothered to examine Great Egrets here
> locally to the extent that I have noticed whether the gape line extends
> beyond the eye or not. I spent some time yesterday looking for other
> GREG’s that had the gape line end at the eye and not extent beyond. I
> could not find one, but the egrets were a fair distance away and seeing
> that feature clearly was difficult . It seems like it would be fairly
> easy to determine whether there is local variation in the gape line, and if
> so that would tend to point away from Intermediate.
> I believe that any buffiness in my photos is attributable to the brown
> vegetation in the foreground. BTW my spouse Dave shot the photos as he has
> the honkin lens.
>
> Sally Hill
>
>
> > On Dec 22, 2018, at 7:04 AM, Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10...>
> wrote:
> >
> > We are all still at the shock stage. Perhaps its like seeing a good
> photo of a UFO and wanting others to confirm that we aren’t seeing
> something we aren’t.
> >
> > The recent photos look entirely convincing for the bird to be an
> Intermediate Egret.
> >
> > Maybe though we should not be so shocked. The very old B.C.record is
> probably accurate, and anything that can get to The Aleutians can get to
> Oregon.
> >
> > Jeff Gilligan
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >> On Dec 21, 2018, at 11:00 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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