Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bird Photo: Grey Heron with a Brown Belly

First Time for Everything



Out on a photo shooting day with a couple of  hippies, I spotted this bird.

Not prepared to shoot wildlife, the big lenses, stayed behind and, I felt like kicking myself.

There were other Grey Herons in this location but, this one really stood out.

There are so many in my collection, I really didn't feel the need to photograph any more.

This character either has brown belly feathers or, was playing somewhere in the mud.

It was hanging around with Ardea cinerea (Grey Herons) but, I don't know if, it is one.

All the Grey Herons, I have ever seen, have yellow legs and white undersides.

None of my bird expert friends were around, to talk to so, I did some research.

Over at ARKive, Grey Heron was the first place to look at images. 

They tell you about the bird's colors, breeding habits and population distribution.

Nothing, looked exactly like this specimen so, I checked other sites.

More information was gathered at Birdlife International  and, I learned something new.

"Breeding site The nest is a stick platform that is often re-used over successive years (Kushlan and Hancock 2005), usually positioned high in a tall tree up to 50 m, but also on the ground or on cliff edges, in reedbeds or in bushes. In reed-beds nests may be built of reeds, and ground nests may be reduced to a slight scrape, ringed with small stones and debris (Snow and Perrins 1998)."

A Grey Heron with a nest in the mud, surrounded by rocks, could get a brown belly. 

All kinds of herons are pictured at, Carolina Birds Organization

There's a Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath) with similar underside markings.

It's got me wondering. Does this bird have mud on it's tummy and legs ?

Or, could it be the result of a Grey Heron, fooling around with a Goliath Bird ?

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