Monday, March 4, 2013

Florida Wading Birds: Little Blue Herons

A flurry of Little Blue Herons, Ding Darling Nat. Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, FL; 12/30/2012.
Yesterday, I posted about Great Blue Herons (46" in length) and today their cousins at nearly half their size, the Little Blue Herons (24" in length). Adult Little Blues (Above) are exactly that, entirely grayish blue in color, with pale dull green legs and light blue bills with dark tips.
A juvenile Little Blue Heron, Everglades Nat. Park, FL; 12/28/2012.
However,  juvenile Little Blues are completely white (Above) and sometimes get confused with Snowy Egrets which are the same size. Snowy Egrets have yellow and black bills with yellow lores (Below) while juvies Little Blues have  pale blueish or grayish bills with grayish/greenish lores and pale greenish legs.
Snowy Egret with black legs bill and yellow lores and feet, Lovers Key State Park, FL; 12/26/2012.
Another juvenile Little Blue Heron, Everglades NP, FL; 12/29/2012.
A good look at the juvenile Little Blue Heron's bill and lores, Everglades Nat Park, FL; 12/28/2012.
Adult Little Blue Heron, Everglades NP, FL; 12/29/2012.
Adult Little Blue Herons (Above) also sport a reddish/purplish tint on its neck.

Little Blue Herons joined by White Ibis and a Tri-colored Heron, Ding Darling NWR, FL; 12/30/2012.
Little Blue Herons are found year round along the Gulf of Mexico coastlines and along the southern Atlantic Coast States up to the Carolinas. During the summer they will migrate north as far the New England States. They will also be found along the Southern California Pacific Coast as well as along the Baja Peninsula of Mexico.

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