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Little Egret? (1 Viewer)


New member
I spotted this bird from my window a couple of days ago. It was identical to a Little Egret in all respects, except that instead of the usual bright white colour, it was a very dark grey (almost black), with a small patch of white under the chin. I could not spot any distinguishing features that might point to another species, so was wondering whether this might be a case of melanism or a genetic mutation or disorder. Would appreciate any guidance.


  • Little Egret?.jpg
    Little Egret?.jpg
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Well-known member
In order to answer your query it's necessary to know the location. Providing the date is also helpful.

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Hi Fali and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.


New member
If the photo was taken on or very near the coast in India, it's a reef heron.
Sorry, forgot to mention location was Mumbai coast. I did think it was a Reef Heron to start with, but photos online show birds with yellow legs and / or yellow bill (at least the tip), whereas this bird was all black except for the feet. Many thanks for the ID.


New member
The jet black legs and dark grey bill are puzzling nevertheless. I forgot to mention the bird was in a flock of white Little Egrets, commonly seen around Mumbai coastline.


Just an earthbound misfit
Just checked and WFH is not in range so probably not one of those..............

cheers alan


well-known Cretaceous relic
I would have thought Western Reef Egret with that white throat like that, but a hybrid might be a possibility also


Well-known member
Reef heron has a white throat. Herons' bare-part colours do all sorts of things.
Perfectly normal reef heron - no need to postulate hybridization.
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