An hour before sunset, while everyone was eagerly watching the skies for other more showy birds flying in to roost, I spotted this lovely adult Little Blue Heron hiding in the marsh. How do I know this blue-gray bird is an adult? Because, curiously, Little Blue Herons are completely white when young. The white juvenile Little Blues are often mistaken for other species of white egrets or herons, with whom they forage. Watch this 1-minute video clip to see what I mean – Audubon Moment.
If you look closely, you can easily distinguish the young, totally white Little Blue Heron from other wading birds by its slow, deliberate movements, greenish legs, and two-toned blue beak. (See more at All About Birds).
As the months pass, the juveniles develop patches of blue, like this fellow below, until they finally molt into their dusky blue and purple adult plumage. Check out a Birder’s Journey post from March 2017 that illustrates this remarkable change in coloring – The little blue wading bird who starts out white.