A Stirring Episode

Snowy Egret

When the Snowy Egret isn’t imitating the quiet stalking technique of its bigger cousin, the Great Egret, it hunts in its own unique and active way: it stirs the mud vigorously with one leg, to flush out whatever might be taking cover there.

Different birds have slightly different stirring techniques.  The first bird in the video below shakes its leg an inch or two forward and backward.  The second bird, which looks younger, simply vibrates its leg at a high frequency.

These birds don’t seem to have a major and a minor leg, the way humans do.  Soccer players, for example, are mostly either right-footed or left-footed, rarely ambipedal, just as people are rarely ambidextrous. The egret stirs up the bottom with either leg, whichever one doesn’t happen to bear its load at the moment.

Watch the video on YouTube by clicking here.  The embedded video below may not be working; YouTube is having some kind of problem.


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