Re: Red legged White Faced Heron

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Re: Red legged White Faced Heron
From: Kevin Vang <>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 21:47:07 +1000
Dear Aus-Birders

In response to Peter Fuller’s query today about a red-legged, White-faced Heron I have created a photo gallery on our website illustrating his individual from Corio Bay, Victoria and an individual we found at Bilgola Beach in Sydney’s Northern Beaches last August.  I have thrown in some photos of a more common, yellow-legged individual from Manley Beach as well.  Note on our individual the variegated nature of the legs with more yellowish knees grading into more purplish-red lower legs especially on the sides.
Go to Highlights and Breaking News>>Red-legged, White-faced Heron Question

Being as I am prone to an endless array of useless theories ;-), I will share a few ideas about these individuals.  Note that both individuals were seen in August which was at the start of the breeding season in as much as herons have a start (they tend to nest year round except winter).

Theory 1: For a very short period at the beginning of breeding season, individuals, perhaps only males or only females, develop these more reddish legs.  Perhaps this phase only lasts for a few hours to a day.

Theory 2: Both birds were found along the ocean, so this may be some reaction to the beach environment.

Theory 3: Our individual was behaving like an Eastern Reef Egret, and Eastern Reef Egrets are known to interbreed with Western Reef Egrets, Dimorphic Egrets and even occasionally Little Egrets. So maybe this is a rare hybrid, Eastern Reef Egret X White-faced Heron.

Are there any heron experts who can step in and solve this riddle.  It has been bugging me for a whole year!!

Kevin Vang

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU