When a Little Blue is a lot of white – April Fools!

Immature white Little Blue Heron, Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 5, 2017. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com.

An early start on a somewhat overcast morning. Grackles and Vultures greet us at the entrance to Billy’s Lake. The Lake is without wave. Although most is still and the stage has not awakened in a dawn-chorus of voices and activity, a cooperative white heron stands upon the floating spatterdock, the gentle breeze muffling his “hair”.

But this little white heron had me fooled… for it is a Little Blue Heron, but it is a lot of white! Egretta caerulea is normally adorned in deep blues and purples. At close range or in good light, the adults have a rich purple-maroon head and neck and dark slaty-blue body. But the juveniles that are entirely white. I had before mistaken one for a Snowy Egret. But the Little Blues, even when white, have yellow eyes, greenish legs, and a bill that is pale blue at the base, and black at the tip.

The little white Little Blue looked at me almost as if to say, “April Fools!”


iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/32778952

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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