In Nature Appearances Can Be Deceiving

In nature things aren’t always as they appear. Harmless Milk Snakes share color scheme and similarities in pattern with deadly Coral Snakes. An American Bald Eagle will not get its distinctive with head and tail feathers until it reaches two-years of age. Male birds display brighter colors duing the mating season than the rest of the year. Juviniles may look significantly different than adults, harmless creature mimmick deadly ones, color and intensity changes with season, sometimes you have to look a little closer to recognize what you’re really seeing. For example, check-out the photo below. A fun little excercise for the newer birders and naturalists that might be reading this blog. Do you know what kind of bird it is?

Which bird is this?  Snowy Egret?  Great Egret?  Some kind of exotic heron?

What did you guess? A Snowy Egret… Great Egret… something else? Look closely. The leg color eliminates the possibility of it being a Snowy Egret, right? Check-out the bill. It’s coloring is the key to identifying this bird. Here’s another view of the same bird:

In this case the coloring of the bill helps you to identify this bird.

Did you it figure it out? Here’s an image of an adult of the species. The photos above are of a Little Blue Heron juvinile. If you guessed wrong, don’t feel too bad. From a distance I always think “Snowy!” until I get close enough to get a better look. The size, the build and the white feathers just screams “I’m a Snowy Egret” until you get close enough to check some fo the details.

An adult Little Blue Heron.

I hope you enjoyed this little excercise. Why not leave a comment and tell me what you think?

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One Comment

  1. fenderbirds October 18, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    nice article, keep the posts coming

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