[CT Birds] On a Late Lingering Snowy Egret in Connecticut

Stephen Broker ls.broker at cox.net
Sun Nov 20 16:43:28 EST 2016

A late lingering Snowy Egret seen again yesterday (November 19) from Sherwood Island State Park, Westport (New Haven Bird Club field trip, Tina Green leader) generated some discussion with regard to the upcoming Connecticut Christmas Bird Count.  Will this bird stay until the Westport CBC, to be held on December 18?  (If so, we wish it continued success and some urgency for flying south shortly thereafter.)  How uncommon is a Snowy Egret on the Connecticut Christmas Bird Count?  This prompted a quick review of Connecticut CBC data to respond, at least, to the second question.

During the period 1950-51 through 2015-16, a total of 15 reports of Snowy Egret have been made on our CBCs.  (None were reported during the period 1950-51 through 1976-77.)  They are as follows:

1977-78 Stratford-Milford (1)
1979-80 Westport (1)
1982-83 Stratford-Milford (2)
1983-84 Westport (1)
1987-88 New London (1), Hartford (1)
1998-99 Stratford-Milford (Count Week)
2005-06 New Haven (1), Stratford-Milford (1)
2006-07 New London (Count Week)
2009-10 New Haven (1)
2014-15 Stratford-Milford (1)
2015-16 Greenwich-Stamford (1), New London (1)

During this same 66 year period, a total of 133 Great Egrets, 7 Little Blue Herons, 1 Tricolored Heron, and 18 Green Herons have been reported on count days.  So, a Snowy Egret on a Connecticut Christmas Bird Count is a rare event, although not quite so rare as for several other heron species.  How does that compare with Great Blue Herons reported?  Well, a total of 10,190 Great Blue Herons have made the statewide counts since 1950-51.

Steve Broker


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