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South Carolina Bird Identification Help

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Hi all!

I took this picture last summer sometime in July at a cool wildlife Refuge called Pinckney Island just outside Hilton Head Island. Since then, I haven't been able to put my finger on it. It looks similar to a Great Blue Heron, but there are some key differences like the multi-colored bill/beak and weird legs. There's just something different about this bird. Oh, and if it helps at all, I do recall that day that this bird was chaperoning some youngster birds who weren't too old so maybe it has to be with the breeding season.

Let me know your thoughts! Thanks!


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4 hours ago, Peromyscus said:

It's a Great Blue Heron that is not in full adult plumage, as it lacks white on the crown.

Were the chaperoned birds smaller or differently colored?

True that could be it.

The birds following it around were much smaller and I believe they were all white.

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3 hours ago, Kevin said:

Check out Snowy Egrets, I often see them following Great Blues. 

Wow yeah they did kinda look similar, white and puffy, but only about the size of a small child if I remember correctly. They were all walking into the dry marsh bed as I walked down trail.

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That's about the right size for Snowy Egret. They're dime a dozen at Pickney. White Ibis too, if you aren't familiar with those.


I grew up visiting Pickney as a kid when my family would take vacations to HHI. Many fond memories there as a developing birder.

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