Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Discover the ZEISS Digital Nature Hub

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Western Reef or Little Egret, Eilat North Beach, Israel (13.03. & 20.03.)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Thursday 5th April 2018, 09:19   #1
Maturin
Registered User
 
Maturin's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Northwest Germany
Posts: 26
Question Western Reef or Little Egret, Eilat North Beach, Israel (13.03. & 20.03.)

Here are a few photos of a heron we stumbled across at Eilat North Beach. Pics 1 and 2 are from 13.03. and 3-5 from 20.03. (showing presumably the same bird). At first glance we thought it to be a Little Egret because of the darkness and coloration of its legs and bill although we had some minor reservations regarding the bill and head shape. We showed our pictures to a tour guide from a nearby birding group. He said that the bird is difficult to determine but was leaning towards Little Egret. Other birdwatchers reported a Western Reef Heron on the same day and spot as 'our' bird. Could it be that the bird is a Western Reef Heron (maybe 1st winter/winter plumage) or is it 'just' the ordinary Little Egret?

Thank you in advance,
Olli
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	egret01.jpg
Views:	70
Size:	380.4 KB
ID:	658258  Click image for larger version

Name:	egret02.jpg
Views:	44
Size:	392.9 KB
ID:	658259  Click image for larger version

Name:	egret03.jpg
Views:	65
Size:	287.3 KB
ID:	658263  Click image for larger version

Name:	egret04.jpg
Views:	62
Size:	315.4 KB
ID:	658264  Click image for larger version

Name:	egret05.jpg
Views:	35
Size:	259.6 KB
ID:	658265  


Last edited by Maturin : Thursday 5th April 2018 at 10:59.
Maturin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 5th April 2018, 17:08   #2
Steve Arlow
Registered User
 
Steve Arlow's Avatar

 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southend
Posts: 1,572
Little Egret, Western Reef tends to be a little larger with deeper based bill and normally have various amounts of dark feathering. This bird was at north beach March 2017
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	546E5679-F143-49FF-97A0-AE72E5ADDBA1.jpeg
Views:	54
Size:	105.3 KB
ID:	658310  
__________________
Blog : stevearlowsbirding.blogspot.com
Steve Arlow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 5th April 2018, 19:24   #3
Maturin
Registered User
 
Maturin's Avatar

 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Northwest Germany
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Arlow View Post
Little Egret, Western Reef tends to be a little larger with deeper based bill and normally have various amounts of dark feathering. This bird was at north beach March 2017
Thank you for your reply, Steve! Isn't the various amount of dark feathering normally a sign for a juvenile white morph? Wouldn't that only exclude a 1st W? I think the size is a rather difficult attribute too since Western Reef overlaps fully with Little Egret. Even 'big' individuals would be tricky to judge by size when they're only 3 cm bigger and there's no other Egret around for comparison (Svensson says Little Egret L: 55-65, WS: 88-106; Western Reef: L: 55-68, WS: 88-112). But overall your estimation backs our views on this bird.

What about the thickness and curve of the bill?
Maturin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 6th April 2018, 20:05   #4
BirdingRob
Brit abroad

 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Nouakchott
Posts: 1,035
Western reef heron for me but this one is tough even though I get lots of practice down here. Yes, the curvature and thickness of the bill are important as is the general robustness of the overall form. Little egret is normally obviously more elegant than the reef egret. Most of your pictures show the bird hunched so its elegance or otherwise is difficult to work out.

Some juvenile western reef egret are mottled but many are not. Adults tend to be either all white or dark. So colour is a red herring.

Nobody really knows how much these birds interbreed but you saw a bird in an area where such birds might occur. So my vote is western reef heron or hybrid.
__________________
Last Mauritania: Grasshopper warbler #306 (Clements count)
Last Saudi: African stonechat #332
Last Oman: Swinhoe's storm petrel #330
Blog: www.birdingforalark.blogspot.com

Last edited by BirdingRob : Friday 6th April 2018 at 20:07. Reason: spelling
BirdingRob is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Saturday 7th April 2018, 05:29   #5
Valéry Schollaert
Respect animals, don't eat or wear their body or skin!
 
Valéry Schollaert's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: I feel home in nature
Posts: 6,968
The clear-cut yellow feet are better for Little Egret.
__________________
Do you know that 75% of pandemics in history are related to meat consumption and animal farming ? Stop the disaster, go vegan. Listen the doctor Greger carefully : https://youtu.be/Se9yqWNIG8A
Valéry Schollaert is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Western Reef Heron or Little Egret, Al Ain, UAE, 16.02.2016. peterarras Bird Identification Q&A 3 Wednesday 17th February 2016 15:30
Western Reef Egret? Gerdzhikov Bird Identification Q&A 2 Thursday 11th June 2015 17:16
Western Reef Egret? Portugal jtwood Bird Identification Q&A 8 Friday 31st December 2010 18:11
Egret, North beach, Eilat, Israel birder du nord Bird Identification Q&A 13 Sunday 31st January 2010 19:53
Little Egret or Western Reef Heron Touty Bird Identification Q&A 19 Thursday 22nd December 2005 16:28



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.09884691 seconds with 20 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 06:45.