Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Little Blue Heron

Erika and I did not see too many other birds aside from the Whooping Cranes at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on 19 February 2014. We did photograph this Little Blue Heron. These herons tend to be solitary and can be relatively hard to see. They occur in smaller numbers than do other American herons and egrets (Rogers and Smith 2012). The species is also unique among our herons and egrets because first year birds are white, while adults are dark. Some other species have white and dark morphs unrelated to age. We found this white bird in the refuge. We found the dark bird the next day in South Padre Island.

Little Blue Herons lack aigrette plumes, the feathers that hunters found to be so lucrative in other herons and egrets. Thus this species escaped the decimation that befell other species in the early decades of the 20th century. See my previous post for photos Erika and I took during our 2012 Florida trip.

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