Posts Tagged ‘green-backed herons’

While on Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba I photographed a small species of Heron that frequented the small man-made ponds around the hotel. There were two birds at these ponds of identical coloration. I thought nothing of it, just a cool looking heron that I would easily identify in my field guides upon my arrival home. No such luck. I cannot find this species in any of my field guides and after posting the image in bird forums still have no real answers.

This bird is same size as a Green-backed heron and has a small crest on its head that it will raise if alarmed similar to the Green-backed Herons. I have wondered if this is actually a Green-backed Heron that has developed a strange coloration due to a constant diet of the same species of fish that have been stocked in the ponds around the hotel. The fishes are a cichlid-type fish, probably Tilapia? Another thought I have is also that the ponds that were plagued with an algae problem have also affected the birds coloration. Some folks in the forums have suggested a melanistic form of Green-backed Heron, or staining of the birds feathers from an unknown source. Either way I am still completely baffled by this bird. Below are some alternate images of this heron species. In some of the images there are hints of normal Green-backed heron colors revealed among the greens.

If any folks have suggestions or possible answers to this heron species please drop me a note. It will be greatly appreciated.

Just for fun I have included a Fractalius of this cool looking bird as the last image. Aside from this Fractalius image, the other photographs have had minimal processing – they are true representations of how the birds look.

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