• Delores Knowles
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  • Added 22 Feb 2008
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Great Blue Heron White Morph

©Delores J. Knowles 2008 -- Contrary to what your eyes are telling you, this is a Great Blue Heron. There are five subspecies of the Great Blue Heron, of which one of them is Ardea herodias occidentalis. The first documented sighting of this magnificent bird was by John J. Audubon in 1832 on Indian Key in Florida. The white form of the Great Blue Heron, known commonly as the "Great White Heron," is found nearly exclusively in shallow waters along the coast of southern Florida, the Yucatan Peninsula, and in the Caribbean. It was long thought to be a separate species but is now called the white color-phase of the Great Blue Heron. Some texts refer to it as the white- morph of the Great Blue. One interesting documented sighting outside of Florida was in September of 2001 when a beautiful specimen was seen roosting in a tree in Wolfe Pond Park on Staten Island, New York. Now how do you tell all these large white waders apart? Look at the bill and the legs and feet. Notice the blue face coloring on this bird that is common to the Great Blues. It’s legs and feet are light colored. You will find images of the following birds on my gallery: The Great Egret -- you will see that the face coloring around the eyes is yellow -- the same as their bill. Also, the Great Egret has very black legs and feet. The Snowy Egret -- Another large white wader but the Snowy has a black bill with yellow on their legs and feet. The Small Blue Heron -- To add to the confusion, this smallish blue wader spends the first year of his life white. Many times, because of his size, he is confused with the Snowy Egret. But the Little Blue, while he’s white, still has the bluish gray bill he will have as an adult, and his legs and feet are a dull greenish gray just as they will be when he’s full grown. I was fortunate to capture shots of this beautiful bird on the west coast of Florida on Sanible Island.

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Anonymous Guest

Kathie Nichols 25 Feb 2008

Rather stunning capture Delores...wow!!

Artist Reply: Thanks for the kind comment on my Great Blue Heron in White Morph image.

Christine brand 25 Feb 2008

I love your bird phtos. Excellent. and very informative information. Thanks for sharing this.

Mrs.David Jobes(Dee) Jobes 24 Feb 2008

Gorgeous Artistic capture!!!Superb camera work,Delores!!!:)

Artist Reply: Thanks for the kind comment on my Great Blue Heron in White Morph image.

gregg dutcher 24 Feb 2008

Not only is your photography outstanding,....but your writeups are very informative and fun to read!!!

Booker T. Williams, Jr. 24 Feb 2008

Love the contrasting blue background ! ! !

Artist Reply: Thanks for the kind comment on my Great Blue Heron in White Morph image.