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Big and Small Snowy Egrets?


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#1 shixingwen

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:36 AM

I got these two birds in Naples, FL in mid-January. Are these two Snowy Egrets? Why is the one in the back much larger than the one in the front?

http://white-clouds....owy_Egret-1.jpg

#2 Amber H

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:39 AM

I think it's positioning... one is stretched out, making it seem much larger than the other.

And yes, Snowy Egrets. :)

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#3 birdbrain22

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:55 AM

Agree with Ronso.

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#4 cestma

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:17 AM

Beautiful! And hard for me to see how the back bird could scrunch itself up as small as the front bird; but they sure look identical. An egret optical illusion.
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#5 shixingwen

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:54 AM

Beautiful! And hard for me to see how the back bird could scrunch itself up as small as the front bird; but they sure look identical. An egret optical illusion.


Indeed, they are different in size. The small one was there first. Then the bigger one flew over. The bigger one is at least 1/3 larger. Not the positioning makes them look different in size.

#6 shixingwen

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:58 AM

The bigger one in the back is of the size of the great egret.

#7 hbvol

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:49 PM

It's positioning and posture. Birds of the same species just don't have that much size variation

#8 shixingwen

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:44 AM

It's positioning and posture. Birds of the same species just don't have that much size variation


That is generally true, but not in this case.

#9 Lenapelee

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:50 AM

That is generally true, but not in this case.

i agree with you they are definately different size I don't knpw how but they are if anything the body of the closer bird should look bigger due to proximity.

#10 jdeitsch

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:33 PM

That is generally true, but not in this case.

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#11 DHSBirdman

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:43 PM

Sadly, even as many humans are tempted by the supposed benefits of HGH, so some Snowy Egrets are sucked in to the temptations of EGH (Egret Growth Hormone)! LOL.

#12 JimUSNY

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

the back one has all its feathers puffed out as well as the stretched neck, but even so it still looks so much bigger. you would think the closest one should look biggest?
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#13 jdeitsch

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:45 PM

The front bird is probably a few inches smaller than the back bird, but the combination of angle and the posture of the birds add to the affect......

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#14 BigOly

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:42 PM

You'll probably want to throw me to the dogs, but I suspect this photo was shopped. The proportions are all wrong, the water moving swiftly on the first bird and not the second.. The foot on the second bird shows disproportion to the legs on the first, etc. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, just me but I don't trust this photo. Bigfoot, please delete this reply if it offends anyone.

#15 shixingwen

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:59 AM

You'll probably want to throw me to the dogs, but I suspect this photo was shopped. The proportions are all wrong, the water moving swiftly on the first bird and not the second.. The foot on the second bird shows disproportion to the legs on the first, etc. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, just me but I don't trust this photo. Bigfoot, please delete this reply if it offends anyone.


Not offended, but the truth is that I haven't done any distortion of the picture with Photoshop, except for cropping. If anyone wants it to proof the authenticity, I can send you the original untouched picture.

#16 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:06 AM

Your photo looks perfectly normal to me. There isn't a problem with the surface of the water at all. You can see a stick in the foreground is breaking the current up prior to it reaching the bird in the back. If those ripples are photoshop, it's the best job I've ever seen :)

I'm sure it's just individual variation compounded by the birds' posture. Maybe you happened to get the biggest and smallest Snowies in Florida in the same shot :)

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#17 shixingwen

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:40 AM

Your photo looks perfectly normal to me. There isn't a problem with the surface of the water at all. You can see a stick in the foreground is breaking the current up prior to it reaching the bird in the back. If those ripples are photoshop, it's the best job I've ever seen :)

I'm sure it's just individual variation compounded by the birds' posture. Maybe you happened to get the biggest and smallest Snowies in Florida in the same shot :)


Thanks, TheBillyPilgrim.

Here is the smaller one standing alone before the bigger one joined it:
http://white-clouds....owy_Egret-2.jpg

#18 lyceel

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:56 AM

The bigger one in the back is of the size of the great egret.


It may be bigger than the average Snowy, but there's no way it's the size of a Great Egret. That would be over a foot longer (Sibley says 24" for Snowy and 39" for Great). It's mostly posture, the neck being stretched vs. rectracted, and also the near bird is largely facing the camera, while the far one is in profile. Herons and egrets are pretty skinny, and appear much smaller when facing you.

Very cool picture, BTW! :)

#19 cestma

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:51 AM

Yes, but...look at the differences in the size of the bill, the size of the eye, the thickness of the legs... This one's a real puzzler! :D
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#20 creeker

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:48 AM

This is like the "Perfect Storm" for the two to appear more different in size than they are. With body position (one scrunched down, the other stretched up,) feather condition (one puffed up with crest raised, the other with feathers tight to body,) and angle of the two birds to the camera (one broadside, the other facing the camera) all combining to create the effect. This is why a photo is never quite as good as actually seeing the birds.
Pretty much mirroring what Lyceel said.
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