Eastern or Western Cattle Egret (1 Viewer)

Earnest lad

Well-known member
Please may I request help with my conundrum.
In regard to the attached pics, is it possible to identify the birds seen as to which Cattle Egret.
According to wikipedia the eastern bird in breeding plumage differs from Western Cattle Egret by having the buff extend to the cheek and throat.
However I am confused by some photos on google images taken in India which some western Cattle Egrets looking very similar to my birds
 

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Muppit17

Well-known member
Please may I request help with my conundrum.
In regard to the attached pics, is it possible to identify the birds seen as to which Cattle Egret.
According to wikipedia the eastern bird in breeding plumage differs from Western Cattle Egret by having the buff extend to the cheek and throat.
However I am confused by some photos on google images taken in India which some western Cattle Egrets looking very similar to my birds

I am not sure of your question. By definition, birds breeding in India will be Eastern CE. If they are marked as Western it is a mistake, probably due to the split being recognised by IOC relatively recently. It is not yet accepted by Clements.
 

Earnest lad

Well-known member
Dear Muipet
Thank you for your kind response. I have noticed that when one does a google image search for bird species a lot of mistaken identities can be seen.

I guess my question is : based upon appearance (not location) is it possible to identify which one my photo's are?
 

Andy Adcock

Fractious Member of ill repute
England
You omit to tell us where your pics were taken but they appear Eastern.

A quote from a pdf download by Ross Ahmed

'Differences in
distribution of rusty coloration of adult summer plumage is easiest way to separate them, but note also longer bill and
head of coromandus.'
 
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Earnest lad

Well-known member
You omit to tell us where your pics were taken but they appear Eastern.

A quote from a pdf download by Ross Ahmed

'Differences in
distribution of rusty coloration of adult summer plumage is easiest way to separate them, but note also longer bill and
head of coromandus.'

Thank you : I shall do some research examining the head and bill of my birds in comparison with the western ones to see if I can spot the difference.

With birds, being relatively inexpert, I am trying to learn by clinching ids based soley on appearance and without any reference to the location

It is quite confusing. For example in this link a photo of a bird in North America looks a lot like mine

https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/categr/introduction
 

Andy Adcock

Fractious Member of ill repute
England
Thank you : I shall do some research examining the head and bill of my birds in comparison with the western ones to see if I can spot the difference.

With birds, being relatively inexpert, I am trying to learn by clinching ids based soley on appearance and without any reference to the location

It is quite confusing. For example in this link a photo of a bird in North America looks a lot like mine

https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/categr/introduction

I disagree, yours is far more extensively orange on face and neck sides, it's also a far deeper orange.
 

Earnest lad

Well-known member
I disagree, yours is far more extensively orange on face and neck sides, it's also a far deeper orange.

Thank you for your kind insight. On reflection I agree with you, particularly as regards the deepness of the colour, which is one of the points mentioned in the article you kindly referred to.
As it happens the birds on my photo's were in a field in Sri Lanka in 2014.
I have decided to tick off Eastern Cattle Egret, but wait until I see a Western Cattle Egret in breeding plumage before ticking that one off. LOLB :)

Mind you, the bird here looks to have a deep colour

https://www.oiseaux.net/photos/singhal.sunil/western.cattle.egret.1.html
 

Kamba

Well-known member
Excuse my ignorance as I had not heard of Eastern Cattle Egret until now, but thought I'd attach some pics of birds from Zimbabwe as a comparison. Taken recently and in full breeding plumage.
The orange feathers are restricted to a kind of mohawk... so I guess in response to the question can they be separated by sight alone I would say yes
 

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Earnest lad

Well-known member
Dear Kamba
Thank you for the clarification
According to what I just read the two species ( or subspecies according to some authorities) can only easily be separated when in breeding plumage.
In that regard, Your birds are clearly the Western variety. Very different to mine which is, then, obviously Eastern.
I had been confused by some wrongly identified birds seen on google image search of Western Cattle Egret.
I have now ticked off Eastern but until I see a Cattle Egret with a Mohican I shall leave that one unticked! (even though I did once see some Cattle Egrets in France which werent in breeding plumage -and those birds virtually had to have been Western ones) LOL
 
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Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
(even though I did once see some Cattle Egrets in France which werent in breeding plumage -and those birds virtually had to have been Western ones) LOL
Yes, they're Western CE. You have to go to Pakistan or India (or further east) to start seeing Eastern :t:
 

Earnest lad

Well-known member
Yes, they're Western CE. You have to go to Pakistan or India (or further east) to start seeing Eastern :t:

Thank you for that helpful point. I guess if I see one in the west that isn't in breeding plumage, I should try and look out for head shape and bill size.
 

MJB

Well-known member
Yes, they're Western CE. You have to go to Pakistan or India (or further east) to start seeing Eastern :t:

As vagrants, they appear to becoming slightly more frequent in Iran, Oman and UAE, but remain scarce... In Iran, bird noted towards the Pakistan border are only now being checked for ID as ibis or coromandus, so may have always been occurring...
MJB
 

Earnest lad

Well-known member
As vagrants, they appear to becoming slightly more frequent in Iran, Oman and UAE, but remain scarce... In Iran, bird noted towards the Pakistan border are only now being checked for ID as ibis or coromandus, so may have always been occurring...
MJB

Thank you for the additional yet fasinating detail.
 

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