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The kotuku or white heron acquires nuptial plumes during the breeding season. This shot shows such plumes fanning out as the bird grooms itself.


Link to larger image

This can be contrasted to adults outside the breeding season. The shot below is of the same species, but this time in Australia (the Northern Territory).


One of the advantages of photographing white herons in New Zealand however, is we don't have to worry about crocodiles :). The shot from Australia above was hindered somewhat by the presence of a 4m crocodile hidden 'somewhere' close by.