Readers’ wildlife photos

June 18, 2023 • 8:15 am

It’s Sunday, and that means a themed batch of bird photos from John Avise. John’s notes and captions are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them. I found the difference between juvenile and adult Night Herons particularly striking.

Juvenile Versus Adult Plumages 

Even after juvenile birds have grown to a full adult body size, their plumages may still differ strikingly from those of breeding adults.  This week’s post show several extreme examples of what I am talking about—instances in which immature or sub-adult birds have not yet molted into the adult breeding plumages of their species, and thus look very different from those respective adult birds.

Juvenile Heermann’s Gull (Larus heermanni):

Adult Heermann’s Gull:

Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax):

Adult Black-crowned Night Heron:

Juvenile Least Tern (Sterna antillarum):

Adult Least Tern:

Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperi):

Adult Cooper’s Hawk:

Juvenile Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana):

Adult Western Bluebird:

Juvenile Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum):

Adult Cedar Waxwing:

Juvenile Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis):

Adult Brown Pelican:

Juvenile Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea):

Adult Little Blue Heron:

6 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Good theme and photos! Two others that I find striking are the Painted Bunting (dull olive-green immature, brilliant blue/red/green adult male) and Black-and-chestnut Eagle (immature white, adult black with chestnut trim).

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