Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Great Blue Heron x Great Egret

Great Blue Heron x Great Egret hybrid, Fort de Soto Park, Pinellas County (Florida, USA), 17th August 2016 - copyright Dave Norgate
(photo ID: 2976)


The long kinked neck of this intriguing bird is very much like that of a Great Egret, but in other respects the structure of this bird seems to resemble Great Blue Heron as much.  The grey plumage and the bill do not belong on a Great Egret, whereas the yellow lores must come from an Egret species.  The latter, along with the neck structure, help rule out W├╝rdemann's Heron (the hybrid or intergrade between Great White Heron (the white form occidentalis of Great Blue Heron that occurs in southernmost Florida) and typical Great Blue Heron.

Thanks to Steve Mlodinow for pointing out that this bird has been accepted as this hybrid by eBird reviewers and photographed by other observers over six months.










Great Blue Heron x Great Egret hybrid (same bird as in photo ID 2976 above), Fort de Soto Park, Pinellas County (Florida, USA), 17th August 2016 - copyright Dave Norgate
(photo IDs: 2977-2986)



Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
Great Egret Ardea alba

2 comments:

  1. See more on possibly the same bird at the same location here:

    http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2017/09/28/mystery-egret/

    and by scrolling down here:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/whatsthisbird/?ref=br_rs

    with love, artie

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the links Artie, and lovely photos as we've come to expect from you! I'm interested in your comments about possible Reddish Egret involvement. On balance I still favour the ID proposed here but welcome further discussion. We still have a lot to learn about heron hybrids!

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