Discovered and reported on eBird by Ron Riley on 10/20/2019
Was also standing next to RL Rowland when the bird flushed and we saw it for the first time on 10/21/2019. Two others were also present on bicycles. I believe Tom McCabe was the name of one of them and another woman whose name I didn't get.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
Esther Simplot Park (western of the 2 ponds that make up the park), Boise, ID
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Water. Fairly numerous dead & down logs/brush along the water's edge.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
Originally sighted for about 30 seconds when it flew from the water's edge out over the middle of the pond, circled once or twice, then returned to the same general area on the edge of the pond. Later we accidentally flushed it again while trying to relocate the bird for a documentation photo(s). This time it flew across the pond and landed on a partly submerged log jam. I captured a photo of the bird flying across the pond and then several while it was perched on the log jam. RL Rowland was still with me at that second sighting. Used Vortex Talon, 10X42 binos and a Panasonic, Lumix, 25-400 camera. Eventually it moved into heavier cover along the shoreline and out of sight. The bird was within 15 yards when it flushed the second time and we watched it for a couple of minutes while on the other side.
Weather was partly cloudy, light wind, temp around 50 degrees.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
No, not at all
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
No, not at all
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
Small heron with a hunch-backed appearance and short neck. Distinctive flight profile, direct flight with fairly slow wingbeats, head held up slightly above the back, with the neck tucked in giving it a crooked appearance in flight. Greenish/gray back, wings & tail. Greenish cap, brown neck and upper breast, white on throat. Streaked brown/white breast. Upper mandible mostly dark, lower mandible mostly yellowish. Yellow eye, lores and legs.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
Never saw it feeding or interacting with other birds. See flight pattern description above. I did hear it vocalize several time, perhaps 45 minutes before I saw it flush from the banks, making the "g'waw" call. I looked unsucessfully for it at the time, and finally thought perhaps it was a double-crested cormorant, that was in-line with the sound, that was making the call. Later, listening to the call, I'm certain it was indeed the heron.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
As soon as I saw the bird flush from the shoreline I knew it was the green heron. Flight profile, size, color all matched perfectly. The only similar bird I can think of would be least bittern, but completely out of range and colors were wrong for that species.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
Eliminated least bittern (see above comment) as similar size. Color pattern completely wrong for little blue heron as well. Too small to be any of the larger herons/egrets. A great blue heron was in the general vicinity, much larger bird.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
I see green herons on a regular basis annually in Arizona, and often on the West Coast and eastern states as well.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
Birding around 40 years; fairly high level of expertise.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (If any)
I will send additional photos separately. An eBird report was filed as well.
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Description and photos support identification of Green Heron.
Good description photos
This was indeed a Green Heron.
Description and photographs are good.
While the description was minimal, several key points are mentioned. Diagnostic photos sealed the vote for me.
Excellent documentation including diagnostic photos, detailed description, and discussion of other candidate species.