Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding -

In many ways, this is one of the eas­ier to iden­tify herons in this month’s ID Chal­lenge. For starters, it is ob­vi­ously a largely white bird, which im­me­di­ately rules out most op­tions and steers it to­wards one of the white species we call egrets. So, that nar­rows it down. Sec­ondly, it has a yel­low-orange bill, so the field is fur­ther re­duced, ex­clud­ing Lit­tle Egret (and Great White Egret in full breed­ing fin­ery). The com­pact, al­most chunky, shape, the lack of a sig­nif­i­cant keel-like bulge in the folded neck and the rel­a­tively short bill all count against the yel­low billed Great White Egret (out of breed­ing fin­ery). In­stead they point to Cat­tle Egret. This con­clu­sion is strength­ened by a closer look at the head, where you can see an orange crown.

KEY FEA­TURES †Nearly all white plumages sug­gest this is an egret †Com­pact, al­most chunky, shape †Orange crown †Thick orange-yel­low bill, dark legs and feet

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