Canberra eBirders. Take care with your egret identifications!

To: Canberra birds <>
Subject: Canberra eBirders. Take care with your egret identifications!
From: Kim Farley via Canberrabirds <>
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2023 07:31:13 +0000
At present we have both Little Egrets and Intermediate Egrets at Jerrabomberra Wetlands, with many sightings reported to eBird by many birders. There is also a Great Egret lurking about, though there have been many fewer reports of this bird. Mixed groups of Little and Intermediates are being reported, with the photos to prove it. 

For our newer birders in particular, please be aware that egret identification can be tricky.  As an example, bill colour in each species will vary depending on the bird's age and breeding status. And while comparative size is a good indicator, including neck length, head length and body length, this is most helpful when the egret is seen near another more well known bird species. 

There are lots of resources to help with egret identification (and indeed any bird species). These include hard copy field guides (and their apps if they have one), eBird's Explore Species, and Birdlife Australia's Birdife photography library. Geoffrey Dabb circulated a very useful (and brief) pdf file on egrets this time last year. Perhaps he will send this again? 

In the meantime, it is going to take me some time to review all the egret records submitted to eBird in the last few days - especially where close up photos have not been possible or when field notes are too brief to enable me to review the sighting. Be aware that notes that say simply "continuing bird" will not be enough. 

Happy birding
ACT eBird reviewer

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