Saturday, February 17, 2018

Great Egret

The great egret is a large white heron which can be distinguished from other white egrets by its yellow bill and black legs and feet. During breeding season it gets ornamental feathers on its back and bright green lores (the area between the eye and the upper base of the beak). 
Kind of comical looking in Merritt Island.
Merritt Island
Circle B Bar Reserve. Note the green on the face. 
Going after food in the Viera Wetlands.
Viera Wetlands
Snakelike neck - Merritt Island
Merritt Island
In flight its neck is retracted, a characteristic of herons and bitterns, which differentiates it from spoonbills, ibises, cranes and storks which extend their necks in flight. 
In flight in the Okefenokee Swamp. Note the retracted neck.
Liftoff on Merritt Island
Also on Merritt Island.
There are four subspecies: one found in Africa, one in the Americas, one in Europe and one India, Southeast Asia and Oceania. 

On my recent trip to Florida I did not see a lot of egrets, but I did spot one in the Viera Wetlands, at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, several at Merritt Island and one in Southern Georgia in the Okefenokee Swamp.  

1 comment:

  1. When extended, the neck seems to be almost twice the length of the body, and it is so slender! Beautiful.