White Heron

A Great White Heron (Ardea alba) inundated with flies as it wades through shallow ocean waters off the coast of Holbox, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

A high key image of a Great White Heron inundated with flies while wading in the shallow ocean waters off the island of Holbox in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Great White Herons are not common and typically only seen in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. When I first sighted this bird, I thought it was a Great Egret. However, I later identified this beauty as a White Heron because its legs are yellow as compared to the legs of a Great Egret which are black. Other small but notable differences are that Great White Herons are larger overall and their bills are hefty in appearance as compared to the elegant slim bill of an egret.

Frankly, bird identification can be quite difficult, and at times can prove to be as challenging as photographing them! However, knowing that egrets are a type of heron but that herons are not egrets, that Red-bellied woodpeckers do not have red bellies, and that black birds are not necessarily black birds, the complexity of identifying birds does not come as too much of a surprise.

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