Intermediate Egret breeding in Peninsular Malaysia [II]

This is a continuation of Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS’s earlier post on the breeding of the Intermediate Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia intermedia) HERE. made on 30th March 2012 at a location in South Perak, Malaysia among padi fields with extensive wetlands. Images of the birds are posted here to complete the story. In addition, we have a comment by Tou Jing Yi, also from Malaysia.

A composite taken from the same site showing Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) on the right with Intermediate Egret on the left is shown above. Note the shorter beak (black here), yellow facial skin, the breast filoplumes and black feet in the Intermediate Egret. The Little Egret has a longer beak, purple-reddish facial skin, long nape plume that drapes down the neck, breast filoplumes (not seen well here) and yellow feet (not seen here).

Two different sets of juveniles that I think are juvenile/immature Intermediate Egrets are shown above. Appreciate any opinions/confirmation or otherwise.

Another Intermediate Egret adult on a nest is shown on the left.

Tou Jing Yi has this to say: “Excellent find! Now all 4 inland egrets do breed in Malaysia. The Intermediate Egret does develop black bill during breeding, but can tell as the bill is thicker than the Little Egret, the gapeline differentiate it from Great as you get pretty good shot of it and the breeding plumage is definitely very helpful as it is different compared to other egrets. I saw some Intermediate Egrets in Kaohsiung at a pretty far distance (still yellow bills), I knew they must be either Great or Intermediate but since I am traveling, I didnt bring a scope along, but luckily the breeding plumes on the breast are very helpful for far identification. I later met a much closer one in another wetland park there.

“Looks like the rest of us who live close to a heronry should check carefully for this species, I will check the heronry in Kampar as well but they might have been breeding there in South Perak for a while now provided that Ulu Dedap usually have the highest population of Intermediate Egret throughout Perak. Thanks.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
May 2012

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