Tragically Stunning?

Animalstuffstore green-heron-aberrant-plumage-4252 Tragically Stunning? Bird

In my last post I alluded to a number of goings-on that warranted separate posts. Though a lot has occurred from then to now, the reminiscence of a chicken we noticed on that day has remained with me.

I had been monitoring a Yellow-billed Cuckoo because it fed within the cover when Joanne (my life and birding companion) drew my consideration to an exceptionally darkish heron searching in a small waterway. I drifted nearer, and positive sufficient, there on the water’s edge, was a small heron – virtually black with blazing, fiery yellow eyes – fixated on some motion beneath the floor.

We watched this chicken for fairly a while. Undoubtedly its behaviour was that of an area Inexperienced Heron – it additionally briefly interacted with one other, regular-looking Inexperienced Heron that flew in momentarily. However one thing was positively completely different about its plumage. My preliminary thought was that it was an oiled chicken; right here in Tobago oil spills are rare, if not virtually exceptional. However actually not inconceivable!

Sometimes, it could fly from one financial institution to the opposite. Nearer seems to be revealed a plumage I couldn’t have imagined even when I used to be deep right into a hallucinogenic journey. I revisited my oiled idea.

Seeing that it was actively searching and working like an in any other case regular Inexperienced Heron, I opted to {photograph} it, analysis it and probably return and proceed observing the chicken. Once we acquired house, I reached out to the authors of this paper on polymorphism. Inside a day, I acquired a response – almost certainly an oiled chicken.

I felt horrible for ogling at its iridescent feathers as a substitute of instantly leaping on the chicken and dousing it with cleaning soap and water. However the extra I have a look at the pictures is the extra doubt I create inside my very own thoughts. I haven’t seen all of the Butorides herons on the earth, however I’ve by no means seen both a Inexperienced or Striated with scapular feathers like this one. Some blue with white edging, others inexperienced with copper edging. Even its plumes are coppery! Some white feathers are seen, however there appears to be some staining of types on its legs and naked elements.

Animalstuffstore green-heron-aberrant-plumage-4236 Tragically Stunning? Bird

All this being mentioned, I revisited the realm a number of instances since and by no means laid eyes on it once more. With what I had been informed, I used to be ready to not less than try to seize it and wash it. Relaxation assured – I attended an oiled chicken workshop some years in the past so not less than I’ve some concept of methods to clear an oiled chicken! However no luck. Did it transfer on to deeper throughout the mangrove? Was it washed within the heavy rains we had just lately? Did it perish from ingesting poisonous chemical compounds? Sadly, all I’ve is that this pair of images.

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