White and Dark Morph Reddish Egrets Hunting

Hunting white morph Reddish EgretHunting white morph Reddish Egret – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm, natural light, not baited

As a bird photographer I feel it is very important to me that my images show my subjects and the settings they are in as accurately as possible. I have seen far too many images where the saturation and contrast has been adjusted to the point that the subject begins to look like a cartoon character or belongs on a neon sign. So, my method of post processing is to be very light handed when it comes to saturation and contrast with my bird photography.

The white morph Reddish Egret image above was cropped for composition and leveled then the bird was masked and sharpened slightly. The colors are as they came our of the camera.

Hunting dark morph Reddish EgretHunting dark morph Reddish Egret – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 220mm, natural light, not baited

This dark morph Reddish Egret image was taken the same day as the white morph image above. It was cropped slightly for composition then the bird was masked and minimally sharpened.

Both images accurately reflect what these wading birds actually look like and for me that is important. I also tend to write about what has actually happened while I photographed my subjects and to give information about them as accurately as possible so as to not mislead any one.

total bs

Recently I happened to notice a photographer who shoots at Fort De Soto make an inaccurate statement on Facebook about the Reddish Egret that is often seen and photographed at Fort De Soto’s north beach where they say “and no one has ever seen a second one around”.

As I mentioned above both of these Reddish Egrets were photographed the same day in the same location. I guess I am “no one” because I have seen and photographed more than one Reddish Egret together at that beach on several occasions.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. I gotta tell you – these two photographs TOOK MY BREATH AWAY!

  2. I also prefer the more realistic images with minimal tweaking. Seeing both morphs photographed on the same day and in the same location is very interesting. Love that image in white morph!

  3. Patty Chadwick

    The gracefulness of these beautiful birds and the flawless composition of your shots amaze me! They are FANTATIC!!! Funny how there always seems to be some “expert” to come up with Pompous, WRONG, BS statements…we have a couple around here…I cringe when I see them and move off the other way…ther’e usually some sucker around to dote on their words but I ain’t one of them. Not bad shooting for a “no one” nobody!

  4. I suspect that you are no-one because you open your eyes (and your heart and your mind) while you are watching. Amazing captures too.

  5. Beautiful captures! One of my very favorite birds to watch!

  6. Very pretty birds. Amazing shots of them.

  7. Wonderful pictures!!!!

  8. Oh, pretty birds aren’t they?

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