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Great Blue Heron red feathers... (1 Viewer)


Active member
United States
Hi All,

I've been noticing that the GBH's are starting to get their breeding plumage. I saw many today! At least five along my canal. At first I thought this one was stressessed or being picked on by other birds, but now see that these are really red feathers. Is the amount of brownish red feathers a sign of gender? age? of readiness to breed? I noticed the other herons today didn't have these red/brown areas to such a degree as this individual.



  • GBHinjured.jpg
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Speak softly and carry a long lens
It's partly a matter of posture - those feathers aren't easily visible from the side, or when the long neck feathers are fluffed, etc. But there is some variability in the vividness of the color and I don't know if it correlates to sex or breeding. Age, yes: immature birds don't get the red patches, as far as I've ever seen.

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