Date: 12/23/18 6:54 pm
From: Tristen Hynes <tristen.hynes16...>
Subject: [obol] Re: White Egret
There is reason this bird has stirred things up this much. Let's keep that
in mind. From what I can tell the only real argument that this bird is not
an intermediate is purely that it is highly unlikely for an intermediate to
show up in oregon.

Weirder things have happened, maybe not in oregon... But they have. I don't
know about any of you, but I've seen my fair share of great egrets but none
that varied this much. It grasped our attention for a reason, and it's not
one of the more likely rare egrets.

I admit to a certain amount of biased, I want this to be an do all of you. I agree that it shall remain a white egret
sp. at this point in time, it almost feels like some are dismissing this...
with talk of dusky thrushes and unicorns, let's pin this bird down and
study it further to the extent possible. I'd take an intermediate egret
over a dusky thrush. From what I can tell the people that have looked for
it and have seen it, were able to pick it out fairly quickly and easily.

Tristen Hynes

Sent from my Huawei Mate 20 Pro

On Sun, 23 Dec 2018, 6:39 pm Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10...> wrote:

> Recall that I wrote that the bird is an Intermediate Egret if the field
> marks, particularly the gap line, are distinctive between the species as
> has been reported in many forums by people who live within its range. If
> the gap line extending not beyond the eye is not characteristic, then there
> is no reason to conclude that it is an Intermediate Egret. I haven’t
> looked at Facebook. My comment was regarding discussions on the web that
> can be found by a simple web search. I have never indicated that it is a
> “settled” matter, but only that is if the gap line identification field
> mark is really distinctive. The reportedly definitive field mark is not
> one that I came up with, but one that is widely repeated as being
> distinctive.
> BTW: I received another email from an expert in Asian birds, Paul
> Thompson, who has lived in Bangladesh for many years. He is very smart
> guy (Oxford, etc.), a very good birder (I have birded with him several
> times) and a world wide birder. Here was his comment:
> "Hi Jeff,
> A pity it doesn't have its neck stretched, or a Great Blue Heron nearby
> for comparison, but it looks likely to be Intermediate. Gape looks ok, and
> the bill from tip to start of the feathering on the gular region is not
> longer than the head (bill to nape), which it is on Greater in Bangladesh.
> Hope it is and you are able to get it, but how it would have reached Oregon
> if wild is another question.
> cheers
> Paul”
> So we have another thing to look at - "the bill from tip to start of the
> feathering on the gular region is not longer than the head (bill to nape),
> which it is on Greater in Bangladesh.” (I have not researched this aspect
> of the identification, or have time until tomorrow to look at the existing
> photos.)
> I will send him the photo with the neck stretched, but I doubt that is an
> important ID aspect.
> BTW: I have no stake in the outcome. I would actually prefer not to fly
> back to Oregon to look for it (like I did for the Pyrrhuloxia and Common
> Scoter.
> Jeff gilligan
> On Dec 23, 2018, at 12:25 PM, Noah Strycker <noah.strycker...>
> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I guess I have about as much experience as anyone on this list with
> Intermediate/Great egrets in other countries... which is to say I've
> wrangled with these birds a few times before, for better or worse ;)
> First, it seems to me that gape extent is helpful as a supporting feature
> but can be very difficult to judge without a point-blank view (as others
> have pointed out). Facial feathers often obscure the narrowing rearline of
> the gape on Great Egrets, making it appear shorter than it really is. There
> are many images on eBird showing this variation. For instance, look closely
> at the gape on these Great Egrets, all photographed in the US in the past
> few days - none of them appears to project behind the eye:
> As for our bird, I guess I would hazard a rather small/variant Great
> Egret, which incidentally is overwhelmingly more likely than a
> hemispherically misplaced Intermediate Egret. In Sally's last photo it
> shows the classic "kink" in the upper neck typical for a Great Egret,
> instead of the gently symmetrical S-curve an Intermediate should have,
> although even this field mark can be subtle. I've seen unusually small
> Great Egrets in Oregon before, and they are known to have significant size
> variation, especially between males and females; heavier birds may weigh
> almost three times as much as lighter birds according to published studies.
> All birds show individual variation, of course, and I can remember cases of
> confusingly small gulls and other species in the past. See this interesting
> post from Sibley:
> It's probably safest to leave this bird simply as "white egret sp," at
> least for now. Remember also that not all birds are safely identified, no
> matter how loud some voices in the room. I still have no idea about the
> infamous white egret <> (seen
> by many) at Malheur - even after studying it for an hour from literally 10
> feet away, it had almost-equal characteristics of Snowy Egret, Cattle
> Egret, and Little Blue Heron!
> But to indicate that this discussion is settled, or that "experts" have
> called our bird an Intermediate Egret, is misleading and unhelpful,
> especially when detailed comments like the one pasted below (from the
> Facebook ID group, and the most informative perspective I've seen about
> this bird by someone who has really studied these species) are being
> offered:
> Personally I wouldn’t ID this one as an Intermediate and from what I see,
> I would suggest that this is a runt Great egret. To me the bill looks too
> long for Intermediate for a start but it’s mainly some subtle details of
> the head that strongly point towards a Great egret. There is a noticeable
> difference in the size of the eye between the 2 sp, with Intermediate
> sporting a comparatively larger eye. Check out a few pics on the web (make
> sure they are correctly identified though...) and you’ll see it’s quite
> obvious once you have your eyes tuned into it: the eye of a Great egret
> appears tiny compared to Intermediate. The shape and colour of the loral
> bare skin patch is very useful and readily visible on the Oregon bird: it
> is somewhat narrow and thus looks rectangular rather than square. In
> Intermediate the loral patch is wider and thus appears square. The
> combination of these 2 features (eye size, shape of the loral patch) give
> to each sp a distinctly different facial expression once you know what to
> look for. I would also add that the lores don’t look especially yellow on
> the subject bird (rather greenish) and, perhaps more importantly, they
> sport at their bottom a black line that runs along the edge of the upper
> mandible: a typical feature of Great egret, as opposed to old world Great
> white egret, that was first brought to light by Sébastien Reeber as a
> possible feature that would help and separate nearctic birds from European
> birds. - Thibaut Chansac
> Merry birding,
> Noah Strycker
> On Sun, Dec 23, 2018 at 9:12 AM Sally Hill <1sallyhill.9...> wrote:
>> I have been following that discussion. Interesting.
>> Sally Hill
>> On Dec 23, 2018, at 9:04 AM, Alan Contreras <acontrer56...> wrote:
>> Questions about the face pattern have been posted on the Advanced Bird
>> I.D. page on Facebook. I’m not going to copy and paste the comments but
>> those who are interested should check it out.
>> Alan Contreras
>> <acontrer56...>
>> Eugene, Oregon
>> On Dec 23, 2018, at 8:55 AM, Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10...>
>> wrote:
>> If the published sources are correct, and the identification criteria as
>> reported on chat sites by “experts” who live within the range of
>> Intermediate Egret are correct in their comments, this is an Intermediate
>> Egret.
>> Unless the identification criteria is shown to be inaccurate, I will
>> refer to the bird as an Intermediate Egret.
>> Thank you for the additional photos. They are of plenty good enough
>> quality to see the crucial identification factors.
>> Jeff Gilligan
>> On Dec 23, 2018, at 9:34 AM, Sally Hill <1sallyhill.9...> wrote:
>> I overlooked two photos that have the next more extended.
>> Here is link.
>> Sally Hill
>> Eugene Oregon

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