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Old Oct 26, 2008, 4:25 PM   #1
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I'm told that both species names are often used interchangeably.

This is a cropped photo (sorry, I wish I had more lens reach). Several of you warned me that 300 mm is not quite enough for these types of photos, but at $179, the Tamron was just to good to pass up. I've been looking at some of these types of photos taken witha Tamron 500 mm. It's amazing how much difference $550 makes.
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Old Oct 26, 2008, 5:14 PM   #2
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Well if it's white, it's an Egret. I first owned a Canon 70-300 IS, and yes 300 mm is too short for birding as a standard. Some folks are better at "stalking" then others and can get quite close. I'm not, so I went for the Canon 400mm L.

In this field you really do get what you pay for. The quality of glass, along with the speed of focus is what really stands out too me. I am learning now that it's better to wait and save the money, then spend now and not be satisfied.


-Will.
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Old Oct 26, 2008, 9:00 PM   #3
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That's tough to tell. I'd say its either a juvenile snowy egret or little blue heron. The legs are pale to pale green and the lores ( near the eyes) are hard to tell but seem kind of dull. The shorter bill with the black tip and the pale greenish legs make me think its a LBH, which my Sibley guide tells me juveniles look like this from June to April.

My longest lens is the Nikon 70-300mm VR which I totally love. But it doesn't make me stop yearning for a 400 or 500 mm lens!

PS- I don't think there is such a thing as a white heron, although maybe its used locally in some places.
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Old Oct 26, 2008, 9:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response.

Actually, the white heron is alive and well. The bird in my picture may not be one, but according to the Fish and Wildlife Service, white heron's do exist.

Here's an article you might enjoy.

Here's some specifics from the article:

"are a white color-phase of great blue herons and are only found in the Florida Keys. The refuge was created to protect great white herons from extinction since the population was decimated by the demand for feathered hats. Protection of great white herons was successful, and these magnificent powder-white birds can be observed feeding on tidal-flats around hundreds of backcountry islands each dawn and dusk."
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Old Oct 26, 2008, 9:24 PM   #5
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OK, thanks. So its a white morph then.



Check: according to Sibley's the white morph is also called the great white heron and is common in the florida keys. There is also an intermediate morph found in southern florida.

But looking at the photo, the bill of the great white heron is heavier and the top is darker. In your photo, the tip is darker both top and bottom. So I don't think its the white heron. Its overall shape is definitely an egret too to my eye. A more of a hunch to the back and the bill is smaller compared to the head. The GBH, GWH, or Great Egret would have a longer neck.

Edit: Not sure why its called a white "phase" when the article and the book also seem to imply that it stays white as opposed to changing to a GBH.
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Old Oct 28, 2008, 1:03 PM   #6
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also, a white heron has light-colored legs whereas an egret's legs are dark, often black. that's how i differentiate them. however, if it is a young egret , the legs may be light. i had occasion to be in the keys this past weekend and got some pics. i think mine are all egrets but i will look to see if i might have gotten a white heron to compare.

the article you linked to (which i had previously read) states that the white heron is native to the keys and caribbean. however, i don't know why they could not migrate to, say, tampa.

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Old Oct 29, 2008, 2:56 AM   #7
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Well, i'll put my 2 cents in. It's a juvenile little blue heron!! as some one mentioned. The bill and legsas give it away.

dennis
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Old Oct 29, 2008, 2:57 AM   #8
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Oh yeah!! nice graab!!

dennis
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