The Great is Back

In a recent post I promised to showcase a Great Egret. I didn’t have a current bird of that species in my lens, but I was confident that once the Snowy Egrets came back, the Great wouldn’t be far behind. And I was right. This individual stood almost motionless on the edge of the North Basin on the east side of the park, eyeballing the shallow water at its feet, with greater patience than mine. I took my fill of images and walked on. Half an hour later I returned and the Great had moved maybe thirty yards but once again stood almost as still as a statue. The next day it was back, or still there, in almost the same spot, and displayed its ability to stalk on the irregular rocks at the water’s edge. This individual looked quite large, fully grown, but its beak was still sharp and brightly colored. If I’m not mistaken, as they get older, their beaks lose a bit of edge and the tip becomes more dull and worn. In any event, I wasn’t privileged to see this bird catch anything. As a time-bound human I had to move on.

Great Egret (Ardea alba)

Here’s a couple of details of interest. The egret’s knees bend forward, not backward like our own. How would we walk differently if our legs bent like the egret’s?

Great Egret’s knees

And the Great’s feet are black/grey, unlike the Snowy Egret, whose feet are dipped in bright orange.

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