This is an older image shot in 2014 (left side is original) that I experimented on using TK color sketch, but rather than following instructions, I changed the blending to Overlay, then moved the Levels adjustment almost all the way to the right, lastly lowering the opacity to 18%.
I’m showing this because on bright white birds, this is a way to tone down the brightness while maintaining good detail. The edit is on a 72 dpi jpeg but am currently working on another Great Egret using the same technique and so far getting even better results.
In this comparison I used the new editing/masking tools in ACR against the TK options and while they are pretty close to one another, I found I had easier control over the BG. However, while the Great Egrets are very close in comparison, the ACR took more steps to go from ACR to PS. Maybe it is a toss-up and maybe because I still have a large learning curve in TK8 Combo, I am just scratching the surface.
Is this a composite: Yes
No clue as to info on the original but as to being a composite, only in the sense of putting two images side by side in the same frame.