Lyle’s Metamorphosis

I’ve made no secret that Lyle the Little Blue Heron is my favorite wading bird in the world—and this collage documents his metamorphosis over the past year…

You met him first as a Juvenile in Fall of 2016. Juveniles are snowy white and there may be good reason for this, or so I’ve read. As I’ve witnessed, Juvenile Little Blue Herons mingle with mature Snowy Egrets, which are about the same size and color (except for their bills and legs), and very importantly, they learn how to feed in much the same way—dragging their feet in small pools, and hopping about with help from their wings. In the Juvenile panel of our triptych, Lyle’s looking into a duck nesting box—which in fact was empty. Raiding eggs and ducklings is typical behavior for Little Blue Herons, although I’m not sure that a Juvenile could manage anything bigger than a hatchling/.

In spring 2017, Lyle reappeared in a “teenaged” phase that authorities call Dappled or Calico . I’ve chosen the former term because Calico coloring is sex-linked in cats and I wanted to avoid confusion, but both terms are appropriately descriptive. Lyle is almost full-grown, but his dark feathers haven’t fully grown in and so, like other birds in transition, he’s kind of splotchy. We still loved you, Lyle.

Finally, you see a photo of Mature Lyle in almost the same pose in which we captured him months before. What a beautiful bird you’ve become, Lyle, and we couldn’t love you more!

#Birds #Nature #Wildlife #Beloved #Lyle #Little Blue Heron# #Wading Birds#

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