REMARKABLE FEET: SNOWY EGRETS ON ABACO


Snow Egret in Flight (Wiki)

REMARKABLE FEET: SNOWY EGRETS ON ABACO

SNOWY EGRETS (Egretta thula) are small white herons of the Americas, similar to the European Little Egret. The first thing you may notice about them is that they have remarkable bright yellow feet. This distinguishes these birds from all other egret and heron species.Snowy Egret ACH1409

Young Snowy Egrets often have yellow markings higher up on their legs.Snowy 24 a - Version 2

The feet are so bright that they are often visible underwater.Snowy Egret WB P1001206 copy 2

Snowy Egrets eat fish, crustaceans, insects and small reptiles. They have 3 main foraging tactics: (1) Standing still in or on the edge of water to ambush prey (2) Stalking prey in shallow water, often running or shuffling their feet to flush out prey  (3) “Dip-fishing” by flying low over water.

Snowy Egret (Wiki)

In breeding season, Snowy Egrets grow beautiful plumes – “bridal plumage”. At one time these were in great demand as adornments for women’s hats (as with flamingos, parrots and many other decorative species). This reduced the population of the birds to dangerously low levels, from which they have now recovered. Their IUCN rating is now ‘Least Concern’.

Snowy_Egret_-_full_breeding_plumage-1

Contemplating the next meal… one of Sandy Walker’s excellent Abaco photos taken this winterSnowy Egret 1a copyPhoto Credits: Sandy Walker, Woody Bracey, Tony Hepburn, Wiki

14 thoughts on “REMARKABLE FEET: SNOWY EGRETS ON ABACO

  1. Pingback: Little egret in Cornwall | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Hi RH,

    I have done what you suggested and borrowed your photo of the Snowy Egret in flight. Awesome photo by the way. My post is linked to yours and let me know if you like the way i have changed my original post.

    Greets,
    Korgyblade

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    • That’s great, you’re very welcome. You are compiling a wonderful database, so do use any images from Rolling Harbour in the same basis – bearing in mind that they are rather specific to the (Northern) Bahamas. RH

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  3. Pingback: Snowy Egret - Wildlife Blog

    • It goes to show how remarkably bright that yellow is – and how crystal clear the water is! I wonder why Snowys, of all egret and heron species, have these feet? There must be a reason but I can’t think what – you’d think potential prey would learn to associate ‘yellow’ and ‘I’m someone’s lunch’ quite quickly… RH

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    • I know just what you mean. And for birds with red feet, our former American ambassador Sir Christopher Wotsit who invariably wore somewhat ‘look-at-me’ red socks… But he had a choice of course. Imagine if babies were born with brightly coloured feet… but I digress. RH

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