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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Plumes and plumage

Little Egrets, Castlemaine Harbour, 4th April 2014 (MIchael O'Clery)

Little Egrets are worth a second look at this time of year as their plumage is now at its most impressive. The fine 'aigrettes', or plumes, on the breast and mantle can be seen well here (click on the photos for a closer look), and they have two elongated feathers extending from the crown.You can also see here the lores are pink instead of the usual grey, this area flushed with colour for just a few weeks each year when courtship is at its height.