|Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee)
|Date Taken: 2011-06-06|
|Camera: Canon Powershot SX210IS|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2011-06-07 8:52|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|"Stop it! Your screeching is making my hair stand on end!"|
Snowy Egret mother and fledglings
Identification: The snowy egret is a medium-sized, white heron with a slender, black bill, black legs and yellow feet. The area of the upper bill, in front of the eyes, is yellow but turns red during the breeding season. Showy, recurved plumes are present on the back during the breeding season. The snowy egret is much smaller than the great egret.
Range: The snowy egret occurs from the United States and southern Canada, south through Central America, the West Indies, South America, and Argentina. In eastern North America, snowy egrets winter along the Gulf Coast and in Florida, as well as north along the Atlantic Coast to New Jersey. The breeding range in eastern North America extends along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts from Maine to Texas, and inland along major rivers and lakes.
Reproduction: This highly colonial bird usually nests in mixed colonies with other herons. Both fresh and saltwater habitats are used as nesting areas. The flat, shallow nests are made of sticks and lined with fine twigs and rushes. They are usually built in trees or shrubs; nests built on the ground are more common in the west. The 3 to 4 greenish-blue, oval eggs are incubated by both adults. The young leave the nest in 20 to 25 days and hop about on branches near the nest before departing.
Reason for Decline: By the beginning of the twentieth century, snowy egrets had been decimated by market hunters for their beautiful breeding plumes. The plumes were considered fashionable adornment for women's hats. Because the plumes of snowy egrets were in greater demand than those of the great egret, snowy egrets were killed in larger numbers by plume hunters.
Interesting Facts: While feeding in shallow areas of ponds and marshes, snowy egrets use one foot to stir up the bottom, flushing prey into view. Snowy egrets will also hover, then drop to the water to catch prey in their bills.
Immature little blue herons and snowy egrets closely resemble one another, except that snowy egrets have yellow feet and showy plumes. In 1964, a hybrid snowy egret-little blue heron was reported in Florida.
The snowy egret has also been known as the lesser egret, little egret, little snowy, little white egret and little white heron.
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