Thursday, May 30, 2013

no longer a greenback

Herons lack the restlessness of most birds. They're patient, deliberate in their movements. Easy to observe.

Here in the Tennessee Valley, small green herons are a summer species that migrates to Central America in the winter.

The green heron was once collectively lumped with two other closely related species: the striated heron of the Old World tropics and South America and the lava heron (a.k.a. Galápagos heron) that’s endemic to the Galápagos Islands off Ecuador. All three fell under the collective term "green-backed heron,” formerly believed to make up a single species Butorides striatus. Today, they are considered three separate species. Score one for the spliters.

I suppose we should be glad we’ve cleared up the confusion, although I imagine that the three heron species knew the difference all along.

1 comment:

Dorothy said...

Green Herons always look like they a mad about something :)