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seen yesterday in coastal nc

so i was driving on a pretty busy 4 lane divided road. dividing the road was a 8ish foot grass median. in the median i saw what appeared to be an egret. all white, long legs, long orangeish bill. it appeared to be stalking. but this bird was *small* ... i mean like bigger than a robin, but not as big as crow. at *best* it might have been as big as crow. i saw no distinguishing traits other than what ive already listed. it was no where near the size of snowy egret. ive gone through my books and online, but cant find anything that i feel matches well.  anyone have any ideas?

thanks!

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1 hour ago, Peromyscus said:

That sounds like a Cattle Egret

 

2 hours ago, Seanbirds said:

Cattle Egret? I know that's bigger than a crow but... :classic_unsure:

 

my thoughts exactly... i might concede cattle egret based on "size can be deceiving in the field" if someone told me they it would not be uncommon for them to be seen in road medians.  thats the thing that gets me the most is where it was.

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13 minutes ago, insanityslave said:

i might concede cattle egret based on "size can be deceiving in the field" if someone told me they it would not be uncommon for them to be seen in road medians. 

I bet one might have been foraging for grasshoppers or whatever there.

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so question: when i see the length of a bird, cattle egret in this example, it says "20 inches" ... is that from tip of bill to end of tail all the way stretched out? if so, it could have been that. stretching that neck out really adds to a length.

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On 6/23/2021 at 9:13 PM, Charlie Spencer said:

I've been in coastal NC for the last two weeks and I can't turn around without tripping over Cattle Egrets.  Medians are their native habitat.  There's a lot of water in them right now, so a lot of critters to eat.

Cattle egrets are not native to north america. They recently colonized the US from africa.

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3 minutes ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

Cattle egrets are not native to north america. They recently colonized the US from africa.

Not recently as in the last couple of weeks by any means, but recently in the overall scheme of things. I remember seeing them for the first time in Fla. about 40-50 years ago. Didn't know what I was seeing at first, but found out they were Cattle Egrets that had made their way here from Africa by island hopping.

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2 minutes ago, Bird Brain said:

Not recently as in the last couple of weeks by any means, but recently in the overall scheme of things. I remember seeing them for the first time in Fla. about 40-50 years ago. Didn't know what I was seeing at first, but found out they were Cattle Egrets that had made their way here from Africa by island hopping.

Yes, that's what I meant.

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I see cattle egrets in road medians all the time back home in Florida. It seems to be a common habitat for them. Though I also see them pretty often in fields with, <gasp>, cattle!

But they are certainly my first thought when I hear smallish egret-like bird with an orange bill, especially in a road median.

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