CLOSED: 2 waterbird IDs

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

I spent yesterday photographing birds at Merritt Isl NWR. I will post them, but first I have 2 ID questions. Is this an immature Great Blue Heron? I've never before seen such a brown (rust) neck. At first I thought it was an immature reddish heron, but the legs are the wrong color, and its larger than the tricolor herons.

Thumbnail by bsharf
Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

Is this Anhinga, an immature male, or a female? I would expect that the female's neck would be lighter than this.

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Merritt Island, FL(Zone 10a)

Happy Birthday bsharf! Glad you spent it on the Refuge.

#1 is a Tricolored Heron. It's often difficult to judge size of birds without a point of reference...other birds of known size nearby etc.

#2 is a ♂ Anhinga-probably as you said- a juvenile-so has not yet reached full adult color. That silver-white area on the upper wings always looks brighter on ♂ birds-may just be the contrast with the black. He's perched on a white mangrove-one of the three mangrove species in North America-all three easily seen on the Refuge....guessing you were on the Black Point Wildlife Drive.

I lead beginner-birding trips on the Drive every Thursday until the end of March. Be happy to take you along on the 3-hour tour (maybe we'll see Gilligan). Should be able to get you positive IDs on 50-70 bird species plus maybe 'Gators, Otters, Feral Hogs and more.

Call Nancy Corona at the MINWR to sign up. (321) 861-0668

OldNed

Linthicum Heights, MD(Zone 7a)

As Old Ned stated, point of reference helps a lot. I encountered my first Tri-colored Heron here in Maryland earlier this year. Just looking at the Tri-colored Heron by itself didn't reflect the significant difference in size. Only after I looked at some of my photos did I note the big difference.

Here is a photo, at some distance, of a Great Blue Heron and a Tri-colored Heron.

Thumbnail by linthicum
Linthicum Heights, MD(Zone 7a)

And here is a photo of a Snowy Egret next to a Tri-colored Heron. Note that the Snowy is standing on a small stump. Anyway, it gives a good point of reference.

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Marlton, NJ

Wonderful pics Bsharf! Happy Birthday!

Thanks for posting these pics!

Beautiful pics Linth! Love the one that shows the size difference.

Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks everyone. Maybe I'll see you someday on your birding tour, Old Ned. Took a second to get the Gilligan reference. At first I thought that you meant a super expert birder named Gilligan, who was on your tour some times. Love the heron, egret photo. I was very excited to get 3 first time species photos.

Glossy Ibis

Thumbnail by bsharf
Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

Little Blue Heron

Thumbnail by bsharf
Palm Coast, FL(Zone 9a)

Blue-winged Teal. Perfect day on Black Point Drive. Bright skies, perfect temperature, and only a few people, so I didn't feel rushed.

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Wasilla, AK

What a great day of firsts you had. Thanks to you and all who contributed/
Doug

Van Etten, NY(Zone 5a)

Beautiful birds and beautiful photos everyone!

Marlton, NJ

Sounds like you had a perfect day!

Thanks for more lovely photos!

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Quoting:
Here is a photo, at some distance, of a Great Blue Heron and a Tri-colored Heron

That Tricolored Heron had better be careful!! Could easily fit inside the Great Blue!

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

I had to post this link with a great picture of a Sandhill crane and TN event information. I never realized their size, up to 7 feet tall.

"A sandhill crane stands at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge near Chattanooga,TN which has attracted 20,000 of the tall birds this season. "

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071225/NEWS01/712250367/1006

Judy

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Quoting:
I never realized their size, up to 7 feet tall

They don't. That's just journalists getting it wrong and exaggerating badly ;-)

Checked up, they stand about a metre tall (just over 3 feet).

Resin

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

Resin,

Did you read that article? Unless my fever is higher than I think, it stated 7 ft. I thought this is not a bird I want to see up close ... I'm a chicken when it comes to birds and for some reason they like me. BUT if they had been 7 ft I would have like to have see them from a distance.

Judy

This message was edited Dec 25, 2007 1:49 PM

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

I bet this is where the 7 ft got picked up .....

"Size varies among the different races of Sandhill Cranes. A male of the race G. c. canadensis, or the Lesser Sandhill Crane averages 3.34 kg (7.4 lbs), 98 cm (39 in) in length and has a wingspan of 1.6 m (5.3 ft). A male of the race G. c. tabida or the Greater Sandhill Crane averages 5 kg (11 lbs), 119 cm (47 in) in length and has a wingspan of 2.12 m (7 ft). Both sexes look alike."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandhill_crane

If you go to the link they have a photo of one in flight. I can't imagine a 7 ft wing span and only weighing 11 lbs. Still don't want to get close, but would love to see 20,000 in one area. lol lol

Judy

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