Re: Red legged White Faced Heron

To: Kevin Vang <>
Subject: Re: Red legged White Faced Heron
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 10:02:44 +1000

HI Kevin.

Below are a couple of comments on your theories as they relate to my sighting.

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.

** I think the most likely situation.

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

** Pt Henry is a bayside environment with adjacent marsh. Although the coast itself is not far away, its not "oceanic".

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.

** There are no Reef Egrets around Geelong.  Its a possibility with Little Egret, but since its only documented that bill colour changes in Little's, and not leg color like intermediate and greats, then its more possibly a hybrid with intermediate. But would a bird with intermediate genes hang around a saltwater bay environment???

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

** here here...would love to here from more poeple on this.

Kevin Vang

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