Lucky shot catching a second when a hummingbird stops by for a quick visit to an egret couple. The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society. Audubon was founded to protect birds from being killed for their feathers. The elegant Great Egret is a dazzling sight in many a North American wetland. Slightly smaller and more svelte than a Great Blue Heron, these are still large birds with impressive wingspans. They hunt in classic heron fashion, standing immobile or wading through wetlands to capture fish with a deadly jab of their yellow bill. Great Egrets were hunted nearly to extinction for their plumes in the late nineteenth century, sparking conservation movements and some of the first laws to protect birds. Great Egrets live in freshwater, brackish, and marine wetlands. During the breeding season they live in colonies in trees or shrubs with other waterbirds. The colonies are located on lakes, ponds, marshes, estuaries, impoundments, and islands. They hunt in marshes, swamps, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, impoundments, lagoons, tidal flats, canals, ditches, fish-rearing ponds, flooded farm fields, and sometimes upland habitats. Standing up to 3.3 ft. tall, this species can measure 31 to 41 in. in length and have a wingspan of 52 to 67 in. Body mass can range from 700 to 1.5 to 3.3 lbs., with an average of around 2.2 lbs.
July 20th, 2013
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