Posts Tagged: dancing

Reddish Egret, White Morph

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Reddish Egret, Very uncommon White Morph, standing in water at Merritt Island (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)

This Egret, the White Morph of the Reddish Egret is rare so I feel fortunate to have photographed this one at Merritt Island National Wilflife Refuge, on the East coast of Florida. They are strikingly beautiful and are distinguished from other Egrets by their light eyes, pink bill with black tip and blue legs. Their feeding “dance” is exactly the same as the dark morph Reddish Egret, however this one did not display any feeding behavior while I watched. He DID pose for me though!

Reddish Egret

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Reddish Egret in breeding plumage, standing in water (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)Reddish Egret displaying feeding behavior, running with wings spread (Sandra Calderbank, sandra calderbank)

The Reddish Egret is an uncommon to rare Egret that was nearly killed off by plume hunters in the 1800’s. They have been protected in the United States and currently the US has about 2000 pairs. Their habitat is salt marshes and tidal flats. These beautiful birds become even more vibrantly colored in their breeding plumage with a pink bill with a black tip. They are distinguished even further by their unusual feeding behavior. They often run and dash after prey and look like they are dancing because they frequently elevate their wings in a canopy over their prey. There are two distinct color morphs of the Reddish Egret, the dark morph which you see here in these images and the white morph. The white morph of the Reddish Egret is almost completely white with dark blue legs and a pink bill with a black tip. I was fortunate to photograph a good number of Reddish Egrets at Merritt Island last month, including a White Morph!