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Bertrando Campos

Rufescent Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma lineatum)

Though diligent and quiet, observers may encounter this reclusive heron standing still along sluggish streams and backwater swamps. The Rufescent Tiger-Heron generally is the least-frequently encountered of the three species of Tigrisoma, and is considered uncommon to rare through much of its range. However, towards the southern end of its range, where it becomes the only Tiger-Heron present, they become more common and easier to see. Found in lowlands from southern Mexico south to northern Argentina, adult Rufescent Tiger-Herons are easily separated from the other species of tiger-heron by their rich rufous upperparts, especially the head and neck. Generally, immature tiger-herons are best left unidentified. With some practice, however, immature Rufescent Tiger-Herons may be identified by their more rufous head and neck. The shorter and stouter bill may also be a useful field mark, though this requires prior experience with all three species. Habitat is one of the best clues to identification; the species most similar to Rufescent, the Fasciated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma fasciatum, usually is found on larger, faster-flowing streams and riverbanks, and primarily occurs at higher elevations.

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