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Any experts on Cattle Egrets here?

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Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 13:21   #1
Aladdin
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Any experts on Cattle Egrets here?

Dear members and bird watchers!

Spotted this Cattle Egret today in Petchaburi, Thailand.

Anyone know what this Cattle Egret suffers from. Counted 32 Cattle Egrets in a group and all in orange breeding plumage.

Put this egret have lost much of the plumage. Anyone seen this before and anyone know what happened to the bird

Kind regards and happy birding
Aladdin
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Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 13:40   #2
andyadcock
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Looks like it's been oiled?
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Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 13:46   #3
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Looks like it's been oiled?
Thank you!

Yes, but when I look at the neck it looks like bare skin surrounded by clean feathers

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Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 13:51   #4
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Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
Thank you!

Yes, but when I look at the neck it looks like bare skin surrounded by clean feathers

Kind regards
Aladdin
Feathers maybe died and dropped out, they should grow back I think?
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Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 13:57   #5
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Feathers maybe died and dropped out, they should grow back I think?
Thank you again!

OK, I understand what you mean. So it might be an old damage, I don't know, maybe a couple of years and it is the new feathers I see grow back. We can also see it on the bottom of the neck.

I thought it might be a sick egret as it is not in breeding plumage when all the others are in breeding plumage

There was a group of 32 Cattle Egrets and this bird walked alone quite far from this group.

Thank you again and I hope the bird is OK
Aladdin
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Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 16:13   #6
andyadcock
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Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
Thank you again!

OK, I understand what you mean. So it might be an old damage, I don't know, maybe a couple of years and it is the new feathers I see grow back. We can also see it on the bottom of the neck.

I thought it might be a sick egret as it is not in breeding plumage when all the others are in breeding plumage

There was a group of 32 Cattle Egrets and this bird walked alone quite far from this group.

Thank you again and I hope the bird is OK
Aladdin
It won't even be a couple of years, they should grow back during the next moult cycle I would think?
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Old Tuesday 9th June 2020, 16:32   #7
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Has the hallmarks of a very sick bird sadly.
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Old Wednesday 10th June 2020, 00:38   #8
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I had a bird in Dominica some years ago that was dark on much of the plumage due to stain with something. It grew a much whiter plumage during the next half year. However, that one did not have bare areas, so I agree that this one might be sick. Whatever stained it might have been toxic.

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Old Thursday 11th June 2020, 01:20   #9
Aladdin
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
It won't even be a couple of years, they should grow back during the next moult cycle I would think?
Thank you!

I hope you are right. But the skin looks black and I hope this is the natural colour so there is no oil remaining

Thanks for the help

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Old Thursday 11th June 2020, 01:22   #10
Aladdin
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Has the hallmarks of a very sick bird sadly.
Cheers!

The bird really didn't look to be OK. I don't know what it was but it did not look bad, expect for the appearance, but there was something strange looking when the bird moved around.

Maybe because the bird looked sick, but there was something I could not put my finger on what it was.

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Old Thursday 11th June 2020, 01:25   #11
Aladdin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
I had a bird in Dominica some years ago that was dark on much of the plumage due to stain with something. It grew a much whiter plumage during the next half year. However, that one did not have bare areas, so I agree that this one might be sick. Whatever stained it might have been toxic.

Niels
Thank you!

Do you have any idea on the skin colour of the Cattle Egret? Is it black then it might be OK and clean.

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Old Thursday 11th June 2020, 03:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
Thank you!

Do you have any idea on the skin colour of the Cattle Egret? Is it black then it might be OK and clean.

Kind regards
Aladdin
I think the skin looks fine - egrets have dark skin, which is often visible when the bird is wet (but worse on your bird, as it's missing feathers). The wing on your bird does seem slightly stained with something dark, though.

The lack of breeding plumage isn't particularly unusual. Quite a few Cattle Egrets don't return to breeding sites in summer - maybe first summer birds that are too young to breed. We can get fairly large flocks (100+) oversummering in Hong Kong without breeding. These birds often have very little or no breeding plumage all summer.
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Old Friday 12th June 2020, 01:38   #13
Aladdin
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Originally Posted by johnallcock View Post
I think the skin looks fine - egrets have dark skin, which is often visible when the bird is wet (but worse on your bird, as it's missing feathers). The wing on your bird does seem slightly stained with something dark, though.

The lack of breeding plumage isn't particularly unusual. Quite a few Cattle Egrets don't return to breeding sites in summer - maybe first summer birds that are too young to breed. We can get fairly large flocks (100+) oversummering in Hong Kong without breeding. These birds often have very little or no breeding plumage all summer.
Thank you!

Interesting with the black skin, not obvious when they are in full plumage. I will go to Kaeng Krachan in one hour and I will spend the weekend there.

But I have planned to go back to Phetchaburi on Tuesday so I will keep an eye out for this Egret to see if it looks better and to try to get better pictures.

There was a big group of Egrets and I will try to came pare their breeding plumage.


I wish you a pleasant weekend
Aladdin
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