Cattle Egrets, both breeding and nonbreeding plumage

I found these Cattle Egrets, one in nonbreeding plumage and the other progressed into breeding plumage, feeding together in a flooded agricultural field in the south central town of Florence. They have provided an opportunity to view these two plumage stages side by side. {Click on Read More to read the rest of the description and see more pics}
The bird in both the pic above and below is the Cattle Egret in nonbreeding plumage. Note the very small amount of buff colored feathers and it's blackish legs (best seen in pic below), characteristics found on nonbreeding birds. The light buff on it's crown may indicate it has begun transitioning into breeding plumage.
The bird in the pic above has transitioned to a large extent into breeding plumage showing a lot of buff colored feathers on it's breast (shows in top pic) back and head. However it's legs are still fairly dark so still transitioning yellow or pink legs seen on this species during breeding season. SeEtta


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