Can anyone on the list help us identify the species of the four chicks that fell out of a tree cut down at the heron/egret rookery in St. Louis City a few days ago. By the way, the chicks have been taken back to Wild Bird Rehab. Trying to put them in trees did not work since people thought these chicks were Black-crowned Night-Heron chicks and there was no active nest that could be found.
However, there were plenty of Little Blue Heron nests with chicks that looked just like them. The initial ID was based on the behavior of Black-crowned Night-Heron adults in the area, from what we understand, but the adults could have been agitated due to a nest with eggs that was also destroyed in the cutting down of the trees.
We'd love some help getting more definitive on what kind of chicks these are. Three of the darker-billed chicks looked just like the photo of one I'm going to link you to, the fourth one is in the second photo I'll link you to, with a lighter bill, but otherwise looks pretty much the same. A number of Little Blue Heron chicks present at the rookery had both light and dark bills, by the way. I wonder if the way you tell is in the eyes?
Thanks for any help. These chicks have to be one of three species that were in that area and in the tree that was cut down and from which they were rescued: Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret or Black-crowned Night-Heron. Even though Great Egret chicks were nearby, they were not in these trees that were cut down.
Three of the chicks look like this one:
One of the chicks looks like this - a lot like the other three, except for the lighter bill:
St. Louis, MO
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