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Birding Photo Quiz: June 2018

We love rarities. Vagrants. Hybrids. Mutations. Critically endangered birds. Even odd behaviors. If it’s rare, we love to find and enjoy it.

This March, I saw an electric blue Cattle Egret at Cattail Marsh, a famous local hotspot, in Beaumont, Texas. First discovered in December, no one was exactly sure what to make of this bird and its unbelievable color. In my own encounter with the bird, I was thrilled by the possibility that, in its way, this might be the rarest bird I’d ever seen in my life.

In the “Featured Photo” section of the June 2018 issue of Birding, you’ll be able to see more photos of this individual and read Peter Pyle’s expert analysis of the bird’s bizarre coloration, but for now: what do you think? Is this an exceptionally rare color morph, the spectacular result of an uncommon paint application, or something else altogether? And of course, most importantly, what led you to reach this conclusion?

Perhaps just as interestingly, have you ever encountered a bird like this in the wild, whether of this species or any other? Because we love hearing rarity stories just as much as we love finding them.

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