02 July, 2010

Bird of the Day

What do we have here? This little guy really befuddled me this afternoon. Something about his behavior made me think he was a juvenile, but not so young as to need parents watching over him. And I knew I'd never seen a bird that looked so much like wet newsprint before.

After reading descriptions of every dark-feathered heron at, I finally decided he's a little blue heron, probably about a year old. And how did I come to that conclusion? Well...

It is the only heron species in which first-year birds and adults show dramatically different coloration: first-year birds are pure white, while adults are blue... Enters adult plumage in the first spring after hatching and may be pied white and blue.
So I guess you could say he's in his ugly duckling phase right now. It's a good find for me, since I've only seen a little blue heron out there once or twice before.

In related news, it's been raining a lot this week. The pond is way swollen. Compare these two photos, taken back in April (with the ducks) and the yesterday:

OK, so maybe they don't look so vastly different in the pictures, but trust me. There's a lot more water out there now!


wickedmess said...

Ooh, that is a good find! I've seen plenty of little blue herons but never a juvenile but then I had no idea they were white as juveniles. I'll be checking my herons more closely from now on.

Thanks for sharing!

Jamie the ParkHopper said...

check out the link above. it's pretty interesting. :)

wickedmess said...

HA! Thanks for pointing out the link, you just solved a mystery for me. I HAVE seen a juvenile Little Blue Heron I had just completely misidentified them. I thought they were immature Snowy Egrets but now I know better!

You know how White Ibis start out dark and turn white? I just assumed that when I saw these mottled little birds that this was what happened with the Snowy Egrets, too (dark to white) and that what I was seeing was immature Snowy Egrets. I was totally off base because going from white to dark never occurred to me) That will teach me to assume anything about birds. They do the damnedest things!

Thanks again!