Sometimes when you are out birding you really need to take a closer look at the birds. If you are driving around and you happen to see a white bird wading in a stream on the side of the road, you may think its a Great Egret.
Well don’t be too sure, how large is the bird? What color is the bill? What color are their legs and what about their feet?
These are all questions that you need to ask yourself before you can be sure of just which bird you are seeing…
Below we have a Great Egret with a Snowy Egret behind him. Look closely and you can see that the the Great Egret is larger with a yellow bill. The Snowy Egret has a black bill and if you zoom in you can see his bright yellow feet!
In this photo you can get a good look at the yellow feet… often called the golden slippers.
But wait, you could also be looking at a Cattle Egret. They are about the size of the Snowy Egret, but they’re a bit more chunkier, their bill is shorter and in breeding plumage they show some buff colored feathers.
Also, you never know if you are possibly looking at a juvenile Little Blue Heron. They’re white until they mature, their legs are greenish and they are a bit bigger than the Snowy, but smaller than the Great Egret.
So make sure to take a good long look before you decide just what bird you may be looking at… 🙂