Re: Egrets in NY's Adirondack Mountains



Jim Elbrecht wrote:
Yesterday I saw a Great Blue Heron fly over- but I thought they
usually had their necks outstretched and was checking my bird book to
see if I really had seen a Blue Heron.

Opposite that page in my Smithsonian "Birds of North America" is the
Great Egret & I noticed they don't show them ranging north of NY City.

20 years ago I saw a giant white bird that I always thought was some
kind of Egret in the Adirondack Mountains of NY. [looking closely at
the Egrets in this book-- and relying on an old but vivid memory- I'd
say it was either a Great or Snowy Egret. I lean towards Great
because of the size-- but it was as pure a white as I've ever seen &
the Smithsonian book shows a greyish underside. I only got to see
it fly away- but it was about 100 feet from me when it took off. I
stood there, camera in hand with my mouth hanging open until it was
out of site.

I looked at all the other birds in that section my Smitsonian book and
didn't see anything likely.

A web search turned up this article by an outdoor columnist http://www.pressrepublican.com/outdoors/lib/2004/08222004out2.htm .

The one I saw was far from the Seaway or even the Hudson River, if the
birds tend to follow water from the shore. It was in a swampy area
south of Pharoah Mountain in Essex county. It is a remote area and
the beavers have created lots of marsh-- but there isn't any brackish
water within a few hundred miles.

Is the Smithsonian handbook conservative on the ranges-- or would
these Egrets [if that's what they are] be considered 'out of their
range', or visitors?

Jim


Great Blue Herons usually fly with their necks in a distinctive 'S' shape. And we get the occasional Egret up here. Someone else may know, but as I recall that the difference between the Great and Snowy Egret is in the colour of the legs.

hth,

James
Ottawa, ON
45° 19.21' N / 75° 40.09' W
http://www.flora.org/jrs
.



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