A Juvi or a Bittern – Tough to Tell

Looks like today I can report the tale of two lists.  First off, thanks to confirmation from Ron I can now add two more check marks to my birding list.  This is definitely one of those very pleasing moments when I can make that mark next to another entry, but when you actually get to make two marks at once .. through the roof.  If you recall, a few posts ago (link here), I had made some speculation on some bird identifications that were stumping me.  Figured the suggested identifications were my best guesses, but looks like Ron was in agreement with both of them – SWEET!  That Yang and the Um thingy once again makes its presence known around here.  With the good of the bird checks comes the equally bad entry on The List.  Those who know me, know you never ever want to make it on that list since it signifies a personal lifetime ban.  Surprisingly, I was able to locate an old copy of it online (link here).  I have to admit that Best Buy made its way off the list thanks to Circuit City closing leaving no other competition in the area.  There are some other additions, but today’s add is Eddie Vedder and of coarse ANYTHING he is affiliated with.

I was a law abiding 2nd Amendment practicing Pearl Jam fan when I bought Ten

I was a law abiding 2nd Amendment practicing Mother Love Bone and Soundgarden fan when I bought Temple of the Dog

I was a law abiding 2nd Amendment practicing Pearl Jam fan when I bought Vs

I was a law abiding 2nd Amendment practicing Pearl Jam fan when I bought Vitalogy

I was a law abiding 2nd Amendment practicing Pearl Jam fan when I bought Yield

I was a law abiding 2nd Amendment practicing Pearl Jam fan when I bought Ten for Rockband

I was a law abiding 2nd Amendment practicing Pearl Jam fan when I bought their guitar sheet music for Ten

I was a law abiding 2nd Amendment practicing Eddie Vedder fan when I wisely chose not to buy his craptastic solo album

… and now this fuck wishes bad things to happen to me (link here).  I wonder exactly what this asshole would think if someone went after his First Amendment rights?  It isn’t worth wasting anymore time on this topic – the money saved on not buying his latest album will nicely offset the cost of the ammunition spent while substituting those CDs for targets.  Welcome to The List.

Cleansing breadth … crap Kozma is sucking it up at the plate for the Cardinals tonight… cleansing breadth.

There, much better.  On to the real topic of this post.  The last plea for bird identification help worked out so well, figured it was worth trying it again.  Once again there’s another bird shot the second day of the Henderson Nevada Bird Viewing Preserve that has me in a quandary.  What seems to be the norm these days, the expectations going into the identification phase were high due to the key features this particular bird possesses.

Stocky frame, dark coloring palette and takes the standard Heron/Egret form in flight.  No problem right.. this has to be a Green Hero… uh, hmm uh.. let me look at those reference books again.  From the reference images, the Green Heron tends to have a rustier neck and a little more yellow on the bill.  They are also a lot more stockier than the specimen here.  Hold on, there should have been a post on one.  Yes, yes, here it is (link here).  Now it is coming back to me – that bird found at Jubilee Park looked a lot different than this one – mainly again due to the stockiness and the varying yet pronounced colors.  This next shot doesn’t show a whole lot more, but does provide some clues to the neck coloring.

Hit the jump to continue the quest to identify this bird

Now the spidey senses were up – there was another choice … the American Bittern.  Same profile and now we have a closer match to the streaking on the neck.  How intriguing, no checks next to the Bittern so could this be a new mark?!?  For the record, I have seen one, just didn’t get it in the tin so by the standards of the list, it doesn’t get a mark.  But wait, based on the specimen I saw and the reference manual those dudes tend to sport the browner palette.

To the web!

The Nature Niche (link here) Has a few shots.  The form definitely looks closer, but again, the coloring just doesn’t seem right.

Birdzilla has the following specimens (link here).  The shapes looks good, the neck striping looks good but if you look close above, the wing highlights (white dots) are not a match.

All About Birds had some pretty good shots (link here) but not in flight

Lastly, the Bird Photographers site (link here) has this image which pretty  much convinces me this isn’t a good match or at best it might be a juvi.

Those white dots along the wings should be an easier match.  Down to my last image and still not confident on what this bird is.  The following shot is by no means destined for the gallery but including it because it is a little closer and shows the wing coloring and the dullness of the beak.  Truth be told, this bird caught me off guard.  The Beast was trained on some Egrets off to the left when this bird blasted out of the brush.  Never knew it was there and The Beast is literally a beast when trying to quickly focus on something that close.  Took me some snaps to finally get the focus tracker on the right spot which led to the pictures above.  Ignore those damn Coots causing havoc on the shoreline – probably what caused it to bolt in the first place.   This shot did provide a better clue though…

This closer shot gives a little better representation of the eye and from what I can tell (I can zoom better on my version) it is sporting a reddish tint.  The Green Heron sports a yellow eye and well, the Bittern seems to have a yellowish eye as well.  This is getting interesting.  Nothing else in the adult plumage seems to match.  Something caught my eye in the Stokes reference – the Black Crowned Night Heron has a red eye!  Let’s just see what’s out there for the juvi plumage.

The Internet Bird Collection has a juvi shot of this bird (link here).   Now there’s some wing dots!  Seems to be sporting some black feet though.

That same site has another specimen (link here) and I’m starting to like it.

CSUSB has one but not too impressed with it (link here)  In fact I don’t trust it at all because of the associated text in another link (link here)  Yes, I found that when looking for hummingbird reference images for the previous post.  There are some things I am sure about and I am SURE that is not a Black Chinned Hummingbird.

So, based on all the different reference books and webs searches, the lean is to a juvi Black Crowned Night Heron.  Let me know if you agree and don’t feel bad if you don’t – I already have that bird covered thanks to an awesome find in Denver (in adult plumage, but haven’t brought that out yet shhhhhhh). That’s all I have folks – Cards are still battling it out with the Dodgers and now in the 13th inning – Kozma still sucks at the plate.   Vedder is still a washed up has been and my bird check list is getting pretty impressive thanks to our friends over at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve.  Keep them wings flapping my friends

2 thoughts on “A Juvi or a Bittern – Tough to Tell”

  1. My immediate reaction was that it’s a Green Heron just like you thought. Definitely a juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron, though! The links you provided nailed it.

    BTW, the site claims it as a Black-Chinned Sparrow, not a Black-Chinned Hummingbird. And if you click on the link in that URL to get to the actual page, the caption of that picture says it is in fact a juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron. (Mind your hyphens…)

    So did you see a juvenile or an adult before? I think each should be counted in your bird list.

    Hey, I just did my normal search to see if you had photographed a bird long thought to be extinct, and …..


    I get to be co-famous.



  2. Cool – I can technically add the juvi Black Crowned Night Heron to my list (for the record I generally do NOT mind my hyphens since it screws with searches – I find them annoying). I have a male adult picture already in the tin so that is covered as well – at the time I found the adult I didn’t know it had technically already been checked off. Whatever that list is, it is bullshit – not only is the Black Crowned Night Heron still around, so is the Golden Eagle. So have to wait on the famous category .. sorry.

    Ooops you are right it does say sparrow – my bad – I knew it was fixed on the jump but found it odd it was so far off on the Google image page.

    Thanks for helping out .. sure helps to have another pair of eyes for confirmation (even if there is a tendency to jump to rare sightings)


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