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Egret, Slaty

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Egret, Slaty

Unread post by Niall » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:30 pm

Sightings of this bird are few and far between in South Africa. This was reported and photographed by Richard Montinaro and co at Mkhombo Dam, and in a follow up visit this last weekend we managed to find the bird again.

Main differences between this and the Black Heron: The Slaty is a more slender bird, having a rufous patch on it's chin, often extending down to the belly. It has yellow legs, whereas the Black Heron has black legs with yellow feet. (Much like a Little Egret.) The Black Heron typically tucks its neck in.

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Re: Egret, Slaty

Unread post by pamua » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:52 pm

ooops, but that is the one I saw in Ndumo last October!

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Re: Egret, Slaty

Unread post by wildtuinman » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:29 pm

Slaty Egret in the heart of Gauteng today!

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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Egret, Slaty

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:10 pm

Same bird, maybe even the same tree... but five days later...


So, it seems as if we are in for a wet year!

The rare Slaty Egret, Egretta vinaceigula, looks like a Black heron that has bleached a lighter shade of grey. The main stronghold of the near endemic Slaty Egret is the Okavango Delta. It disperses widely to wetlands during the rainy season (when flood-levels are low in the Okavango), and far beyond in wet years.

After news of this Guateng bird filtered through, I went to Walk Haven near Krugersdorp where this egret has been spotted a number of days consecutively. It seems to prefer the shallow outlet of one of the upper dams there where it keeps the company of a skittish flock of African sacred ibis that noisily departs as soon as a person shows, causing the egret to fly off to a nearby willow.

They look similar to the Black heron of which there were a few at present at the same dam, but the egret is distinguishable by its colouring and slighter posture. The egret has slate grey feathers, a brown throat and all yellow legs. Unlike the Black heron, the Slaty Egret never feeds by spreading wings over its head for better visibility of their prey items.

They are classified as Vulnerable.
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