Posted by Brennan Mulrooney (126.96.36.199) on June 09, 2002 at 16:13:25:
Well, I've always just been a spectator on this forum, letting other more qualified people battle it out, but since I live in San Diego and have probably seen this bird, I guess I should finally weigh in. So here goes...
At first glance this bird certainly shows the blue-gray body and red-orange neck of an adult Reddish Egret, but I don't think that it is. I guess the first thing that I would consider is that Reddish Egrets in San Diego are very rare, and almost always immature birds. This bird is not showing the pale wash over the body of a young REEG. The body looks dark blue-gray without any hint of buff or orange. That indicates an adult bird, which I would think should have a much more obvious shaggy orange neck extending farther down toward the breast and forward to the bill. Also the bill should have a cleaner black tip and bright pink base. This photo looks overexposed to me making the gray base of the bill wash out and look paler than it is and thus emphasizing the black tip.
Also the bird looks too short necked to be a REEG. The leg color looks fine for LBHE, the bill shape looks good, slightly drooping. Basically I can't find anything that looks wrong for Little Blue, and too many inconsistencies for Reddish Egret. So I'm gonna have to go with Little Blue Heron and hope I didn't embarrass myself.
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