Animal_Behavior_Example - Evolution, Behavior, and Ecology...

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Evolution, Behavior, and Ecology Animal Behavior Observation Example Species identification: Little Blue Heron ( Egretta caerulea ) Species description: About 60 cm tall with a wingspread of about 100 cm. The body proportions are about 1/3 head and neck, 1/3 body, and 1/3 legs and feet. The body and wing feathers are a dark, steely blue, with a patch of dark, reddish-purple feathers on the back of the head and upper part of the neck. There is a light patch around the eye. Some individuals had some white feathers in patches on the wings. The beak is gray and the legs and feet are dark gray, nearly black. The beak is straight, pointed, and about 8 cm long. The legs are long and straight and the feet have three long toes in front and one in back. The wings are relatively short, broad, and rounded. When standing the body is held above the legs, without leaning forward. The body, neck, and head are usually angled forward when walking. Observation 1: Sunday, 31 August 2003, 1:45 pm; Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, 20 km northwest of Sherman, Grayson Co., TX. Hagerman NWR is on the upstream part of the Big Mineral Arm of Lake Texoma. General habitat type: The "oil jetties" area on the east side of Big Mineral Creek, bottomland which consists of a series of ponds or mudflats separated from the lake and from each other by interconnecting raised jetties and roads that lead to a series of wellheads. Whether these areas are ponds or mudflats depends on the level of the lake; most were ponds when I made these observations. The substrate is dense, silty mud that is typical of Blackland Prairie. The water in the ponds was relatively shallow and quite turbid. There were a few buttonbushes and willows alongside the jetties and a lot of giant ragweed, and some of the mudflats contained a dense stand of lotus (an aquatic plant), but there was no aquatic vegetation in the lake itself. The ponds with the lotus had areas of open water that was not covered by the plants. Microhabitat:
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course BIOL 116 taught by Professor Meyer during the Spring '08 term at Austin College.

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Animal_Behavior_Example - Evolution, Behavior, and Ecology...

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