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Juv Chinese Egret?China (1 Viewer)


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We photographed a new Egret breeding site today with a UAV, and one of the chicks was distinctive, its bill is mostly yellow, and its claws were bright yellow, which seems to rule out the great egret and the middle egret. I've been looking online about juv cattle egrets, and none of them have yellow claws, so maybe that can be ruled out? So the only thing left is a Chinese Egret egret? Chinese Egret breed in my city, mostly on islands, and a few on land, along with other Egret. The problem is I don't know if the bill of little egret can show a similar color, and its claws look different from the yellow-billed egret chicks we've photographed before. There are adult Chinese Egrets in the vicinity, and this breeding ground has little egrets, great egrets and cattle egrets breeding, and possibly other herons.
1 2 3 is the individual in question, a screenshot from the video. The last few pictures we took were of Chinese egret chicks, which bill is yellow at very young, then it gets dark, then it gets yellow.

Thank you very much!


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As no-one else has commented I'll say something to get a discussion going. For photos 1 2 3, I think Little Egret is a possibility and statistically more likely than Chinese Egret but I'm not familiar with Chinese Egret in the field let alone juveniles so I cannot rule it out. Perhaps there's something that rules out Little Egret but I don't see it - did you have any thoughts on this? Little Egrets also begin with a yellow bill which darkens as they get older, also they have yellow feet, yellow/greenish legs at first (seems plausible from photos). Perhaps this individual is just younger than the other Little Egrets. As you say, Chinese Egret tends to breed on islands but inland breeding is known and perhaps overlooked so seems right to query different looking individuals. Hopefully someone can say something more definitive.
Little Egrets also begin with a yellow bill which darkens as they get older
Thank you for your reply, but I haven't seen Little Egrets with yellow bill online. Do you have any information on this? The breeding ground is actually a small island, just very close to the land
Here are two juveniles with yellow beaks squabbling, and here is another with some yellow on the beak but beginning to darken. If it's on a coastal island then it probably improves the chances of Chinese Egret. But I don't think I could rule out one or the other based on my limited knowledge.

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