Walking down the boardwalk at the marina near Clearwater Beach, a beautiful white bird landed on a post nearby. I was already taking pictures of the pelicans sitting around the marina so I turned my camera to the bird. Seemed as though it was sitting there posing, probably looking for some food, but kept moving like its modeling.
Later, we stopped at a fishing shack and asked a fellow what the bird was. After showing him a picture, he said an egret. Well, in my mind this bird was not big enough because the only egrets I had seen in my Ohio area was the size of a blue heron and this egret was about half that size.
After some research (don’t we just love the internet for instant research), I found that the normal egret I had always known of was the Great Egret and that this shorter specie was the Snowy Egret. Here is a description from the Audubon website:
“A beautiful, graceful small egret, very active in its feeding behavior in shallow waters. Known by its contrasting yellow feet, could be said to dance in the shallows on golden slippers.”
“The snowy egret is about two feet in length and has a wingspan of about three feet. It has white feathers, a yellow patch of skin around its eyes, a black bill and black legs with bright yellow feet. In breeding season, it has lacy plumes on its head, neck and back. Males and females look alike. It breeds on the Atlantic Coast, the Pacific Coast and the Gulf Coast. The snowy egret is found in some inland areas, such as in marshes, swamps, shorelines, mudflats and ponds. It winters from California south to South America on the west coast and from Virginia south to the West Indies on the east coast. The snowy egret runs after its food eating shrimp, minnows and other small fish, crustaceans and frogs.”
Have you gotten to see the snowy egret? If you have, leave a comment in the section below to share with me.