What is this bird?

bfluegiebfluegie Big grinsIndianaPosts: 485Registered Users Major grins

I thought it to be a great blue heron, but the markings seem different than what I am seeing in online photos. Most of the photos I found have more white on the top of the head, longer head plumes, and an all yellow bill. Does anyone have any idea if this is a different species or if I just found a great blue with individual variation. Also, feel free to comment on the photos if you want. I am not a wildlife photographer. I have been known to say I only shoot wildlife if I happen across it when going to a scenic location and I don't feel obligated to run away. But this guy seemed completely indifferent to all the people stomping by the stream on the way to a waterfall. I'm just lucky I didn't decide to lighten my pack and remove my 70-300. People on the trail were calling it a crane, but I didn't think a crane had such a long, flexible neck.

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~~Barbara

Comments

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 12,472Super Moderators moderator

    It looks like a Great Blue Heron to me too.

    I found some that looked similar in the pages of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Blue_Heron/id.
    There is a comparison capability below the first set of photos. At first I thought it might be a Tricolored Heron, but then I thought again.

    Hopefully someone who really knows birds will pop in.

  • bfluegiebfluegie Big grins IndianaPosts: 485Registered Users Major grins

    Thanks Denise. I appreciate the info. I should have added that I saw this bird in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. I think that excludes a tri-color heron unless it got blown off course big time. I did look up birds that are found in Shenandoah and I found that the great blue heron is considered native and the abundance is considered occasional.

    ~~Barbara
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,457Super Moderators moderator

    I think it is a Great Blue Heron too.

    I do see that several of my images of GBHs do have a white hat on top of their blue head sometimes. -- https://pathfinder.smugmug.com/search#q=great+blue+heron

    Sibley's Guide to Birds shows a dark blue head without a plume on a juvenile 1 year old GBH, and I am inclined to think that is what you have captured.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • bfluegiebfluegie Big grins IndianaPosts: 485Registered Users Major grins

    Thanks @pathfinder. The only photo I found of a juvenile great blue heron showed a bird almost a single color. But that bird had its neck completely tucked so it may have made it look different. Unless I hear something else I'm calling this a GBH. Thanks for pointing me to your photos. They are really great and I enjoyed looking.

    ~~Barbara
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,457Super Moderators moderator

    I'm not a bird expert, but I've seen a number of birds over the years that everyone identified as GBHs. Checking Sibley's again, and the juvenile GBH has a dark grey and white vertically flecked ventral neck and breast that is quite distinctive too - not seen in other herons that I see in Sibley's book.

    Glad you liked some of my bird images.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • bfluegiebfluegie Big grins IndianaPosts: 485Registered Users Major grins

    I did find a Cornell site that has lots of info about GBHs. The main thing of interest to my question that I found states that the young won't get adult plumage for two years and it may not be complete until the fourth spring.
    https://allaboutbirds.org/bird-cams-faq-great-blue-heron-nest/#adult-plumage

    So, I'm guessing that the one I saw was somewhere in plumage transition between juvenile and adult. It has some of the coral and darker blue body coloring but the head still doesn't have adult markings. It looked big to me, but without a full adult nearby I wouldn't know if it was adult sized or not.

    Thanks again Denise @denisegoldberg and @pathfinder.

    ~~Barbara
  • StumblebumStumblebum I shoot, therefore I am Posts: 7,675Registered Users Major grins

    Ornithomimus edmontonicus

    Canada, Late Cretaceous (65–80 million years ago), described 1933
    This 3.5-metre-long bipedal runner with long legs and a toothless beak had large eyes that suggest it may have been nocturnal. Its diet is contested, but it was probably omnivorous. The genus Ornithomimus was first discovered by OC Marsh in 1890, who named the partial hind- and forelimb remains he found O. velox. The O. edmontonicus species was discovered in Alberta in 1933. A 2012 study led by Darla Zelenitsky at the University of Calgary revealed three Canadian specimens with feather impressions – the first feathered dinosaur fossils discovered in the Americas and some of a handful discovered outside China. One was a juvenile with a downy covering, while two adults had longer pennaceous feathers on their forearms, suggesting they may have been used for mating displays. Ornithomimus (or-NITH-o-MEE-mus) means ‘bird mimic’. The species is named for the Late Cretaceous Edmontonian faunal stage.

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