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

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