Thursday, April 12, 2007

White Heron Incident

I wish I had a better shot of this White Heron but it was grazing the front yards this morning, which caused quite a ruckus because the dogs got all excited, hair standing on end. Then Mr. Heron had the nerve to stalk and gobble down a salamander in plain view, which REALLY got the dogs excited. Next the cats started following the bird - not that the bird is almost 4-foot tall and has a wing span of maybe 5 feet. So we barked, howled, and watched, taking bets on the cats.


Tom Andersen said...

I really hate it that my first comment on Poof n Whiffs is a correction, but a blogger has to do what a blogger has to do ... I think it's a great egret. There's no such thing (in North America, at least) as a white heron. I realize that somewhere down there there's a Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, but that doesn't mean there's a bird called a White Heron (although you southerners might call it that).

Glad you're out looking though. I've seen just two orchard orioles in my life; a tree full of them must have been amazing.

-- Tom

Sam said...

That's totally OK, Tom. It is a slang term we use down here. For another example, we call a kind of fish a "speckled trout" but it really is a weakfish. At least I don't call all small birds a "sparrow" anymore!

For you locals down here, Tom is fighting a large LNG facility in Long Island Sound up New York way. It is probably much worse then the planned oil and gas drilling in Laguna Madre.

Mike said...

Okay Sammie, since we are on this ahem correctness issue, actually, it's a "spotted weakfish." And I'd love to be feasting on one of those beauts ahora...

Everett said...

Tom's right, no Great White Heron, Just like there is no such thing as a "seagull" but everyone calls them that. They all without fail have another name in front of the "gull" part.
Speaking of Orchard Orioles, two summers ago, I looked out my window and I saw some guy standing down in my east forty with some binocs looking at something. So I wandered on down to see what he was looking at. Turns out he was a full "fledged" (couldn't help it!) ornitholigist (sp) and had heard the Oriole singing away. Turns out they are really rare up here. Anyway this pair built a nest in my big spruce tree and for the next six to eight weeks we had a steady stream of pigeon peepers coming to take a look and listen. We set a limit as to how many and how close you could get in order to not scare them away. Amazingly enough though, I could drive right under the tree with the lawn mower, and they would just sit there and watch me! They hatched two and haven't seen any since!

Sam said...

Gosh I had no idea the Orchard Oriole was so rare, since I saw at least 50 of them within 100 feet of my house.

They only hung around for 2-3 days and were gone ... we'll see what the current cold front has to offer in the way of fly-over birds, which should be up North sometime in May.
-- sam "red herring" wells

Everett said...

I did some more checking. If the bird you saw had black legs, and is about 40" tall, he is a Great Egret. If he has Yellow legs and feet and is about 50" tall, he is what is called a Morph of the Great Blue Heron. His range is supposed to be South Florida,Cuba, and the Yucatan. Here I am a lifelong birder and I never made the distinction!

Sam said...

I think we have black legs here, Everett, but hey thanks for checking. An Egret it is then.

As to its cousin "Morph," like wow, that sounds freaky!