The Great White Egret
The American Great Egret
(I wrote this over 10 years ago and dug it up when Marty showed me this Photo, it fits so well.)
I had just read about the Herons and how most where white when young when one caught my eye as being large enough to be grown but still white. I put the boat upwind and shut down the motor to drift. I grabbed my binoculars for a close look. Bubba was in the boat with me and must have misunderstood what was happening, as usual. He jumped from the boat with a splash and this action provided me with a look at how the heron flies, but not before I got my look.
The local guides call it "the white heron". I have some trouble with classifications for birds made by fishing guides. The American Great Egret is what Peterson described as, "the white race of blue heron", or in other words a subspecies of the Great Blue Heron.
I wanted to see the bird's feet to have a more positive ID. That could have been what Bubba was wondering also when he jumped from the boat. The startled heron flew a few flaps, about five, and then glided down to a perch on a large log. Black feet to match the legs!
During my short look, I saw a three foot tall heron; it was solid white except for where its orange, pointed bill connected with its head, the color seemed to extend towards the eye. The eye was yellow in its iris and the bird stood on black legs and feet. Its neck had the heron's "S" shape and was more than twice the length of its body.
David Sibley’s Bird Behavior Guide says, ’It nests atop the mangrove just like its cousin, the Great Blue Heron, where two or three blue-green eggs are laid.’ October until November is the nesting season for them as well; it uses the same fishing ground and techniques as the Great Blue.
Birds tend to sleep at those times of the day when they cannot feed, thus not only do day feeding birds sleep at night and nocturnal birds during the day, but birds such as waders sleep when the tide is high. High and low tide changes about an hour each day so at certain times of the month, the hot middle of the day is good bird watching, if it's low tide.
What I seem to like the most about Birdwatching is anytime, anyplace is a good time when you see one.