The lovely and charismatic Reddish Egret
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January 29, 2022

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The lovely and charismatic Reddish Egret

Thank you to our ACES' lovely volunteer, Rae Sept, for putting this together.

The reddish egret is one of the larger and more active herons. It can either have slate grey wings with a 'reddish' head or a perfect white body, wings and head, but both will have long blue-grey legs with a pink beak and a black tip. The pink colour becomes darker when the birds are in breeding condition.

On the 11th March, 2020 Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development conducted a survey at 3 known breeding sites in the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. During this survey they recorded nearly 300 reddish egrets with over 150 juvenile birds, as well as chicks still in the nest. It is suspected that the number of birds nesting the area may actually be much higher due to the lower number of adult birds, suggesting the adults were away from the nests feeding at the time of the survey. A follow-up study will be required to see how many of these birds remain within the sanctuary once they reach maturity. This survey is of crucial importance to the species as the they are considered near threatened by the IUCN with approximately 10,000 individuals dispersed from the USA south as far as Venezuela and Colombia.

Photographs by Tom Cawthon (dark morphs) and Francis Canto Jr. (white morph)

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