White heron breeding in Golden Bay

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alecmilne
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Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:31 pm

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby alecmilne » Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:35 pm

Colin Miskelly wrote:Kia ora Alec

If there is information that allows the birds to be identified and demonstrate that they are nesting (e.g. a photograph of the birds at the nest), then yes, an Unusual Bird Report should be submitted. Neither white heron nor cattle egret is reportable from Golden Bay, but if they laid an egg, that would be.

Thanks
Colin


Hi again Colin,
there may still be a retrievable nest. Could this be used for DNA confirmation and the observers description of the adults feeding the chick used to confirm breeding?
alecmilne
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:31 pm

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby alecmilne » Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:36 pm

Hi again Colin,
there may still be a retrievable nest. Could this be used for DNA confirmation and the observers description of the adults feeding the chick used to confirm breeding?
Steve Wood
Posts: 218
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:57 pm

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby Steve Wood » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:19 am

Thanks Alec.
Colin Miskelly
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Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby Colin Miskelly » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:16 am

Kia ora Alec

Yes - it might be possible to identify a species from feathers etc found in a nest (with the slight caveat over who will pay for any DNA analysis if required), but there will still be a need for detailed information (and preferably images) of what was observed at the site to interpret the findings.

One of the challenges here is that egret species often roost together. There are many records of white heron and cattle egret roosting together in New Zealand, and it would be easy for a non-birder to interpret this as an adult (or even pair of adults) with young. If a feather (or DNA extracted from it) allowed identification of one of these species, this would not confirm that breeding had occurred. Similarly, a nest by itself does not mean that an egg was laid.

Hopefully images can be retrieved, but from the information so far available, I suspect that we might need to wait for the next breeding season before there will be sufficient information to stand up to Records Appraisal Committee scrutiny.

Nga mihi
Colin
Last edited by Colin Miskelly on Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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GrahameNZ
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Location: The Wetlands, Christchurch
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Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby GrahameNZ » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:49 am

Deleted images are not necessarily irretrievable.
If they have been stored on the micro SD card in the phone then the free version of Recuva will probably retrieve them.
https://www.ccleaner.com/recuva
If they were saved in the phones memory there are many bits of software designed to recover from there.
The caveat is if the owner is a prolific user of the phone cam then the deleted image space may have been overwritten with a new image.
Jan
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Location: Christchurch

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby Jan » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:07 am

Paul Scofield wrote:Hi Jan,

Yes had forgotten about Potts (1882).

He appears to believe that the abundance of Eastern Great Egrets at Lake Heron in the mid 19th C must have indicated a breeding colony but he never saw direct evidence of such.

He states:
"We have a memorandum of a nest at Kaitunu as the name indicates eels again in plenty near Lake Ellesmere from the shores of which extensive mere many noble specimens have been obtained rarely have we noticed it standing at the outlet of a tidal creek in Lyttelton harbour."

So one could infer "formerly bred on the Oreti River, Southland; a single nest was reported from Kaituna on Lake Ellesmere and perhaps breed at Lake Heron, Canterbury" (Potts 1882).

P

Thanks v much for quoting all that, Paul. Potts didn't much like punctuation it seems and his mention of a Kaituna breeding site is a bit muddled with eels and noble specimens, I guess not all Kotutu ones. I'm getting his problem now......
Paul Scofield
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Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby Paul Scofield » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:44 am

Whilst it is possible this was an Eastern Great Egret breeding attempt it seems equally probably it was an Australasian Little Egret given the location. What it is highly unlikely (given the description) is that it was a Cattle Egret given the fact their alternate plumage has "orange-buff plumes on breast (lower foreneck), on the head (forehead to nape), and on the lower back". For that matter, even Intermediate Egret is a possibility...

A simple description of the bill colour during breeding should sort out the true species involved.

For what its worth my guess as to the identity of this pair, in order of most to least likely:

1) Spoonbill
2) Little Egret
3) Eastern Great Egret
4) Intermediate Egret
5) Cattle Egret

Paul
Steve Wood
Posts: 218
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:57 pm

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby Steve Wood » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:32 pm

Hi all.
Spoke to the lady who saw and photographed the bird really well by the sounds of it
but after explaining the possible options, still no further to the true id. All images are long gone. Our only hope is if the bird returns this year which is possible.

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