‘black-fronted’ Heron

Receiving far less attention than the nearby Ring-necked Duck, this ‘black-fronted’ Grey Heron proved to be quite a striking bird. At first sight it may be easy to assume it is oiled but closer examination reveals a rather uniform density of dark feather symmetry – not the patchy, uneven distribution of staining associated with a liquid, and this suggests it is natural pigmentation rather than the result of an oily encounter.

Aberrant Grey Heron, Wicksteed Park, Kettering, 9th November (Simon Hales)

Aberrant Grey Heron, Wicksteed Park, Kettering, 9th November (Simon Hales)

Grey Herons with aberrant plumage occur from time to time. Structurally, the Wicksteed individual is a Grey Heron and is not likely to be a hybrid, unlike this bird, which it closely resembles in plumage but not structure. Interesting bird and thanks to Simon Hales for his image.

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