Reddish Egret splashingReddish Egret splashing while hunting – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 250, 80-400mm VR at 300mm, natural light

The Reddish Egret is one of my favorite wading birds. Standing still they are a delight to the eyes and while hunting they can perform amazing turns, twists, gallops and appear to be dancing. They are very entertaining to say the least. Reddish Egrets come in two forms, a dark form as shown in the image above and a white morph. When they are in breeding plumage as the egret is in the images I have posted today the pink bill is pronounced and there is a purplish blue by the lores.

Reddish Egret hunting by the sand dunesReddish Egret hunting by the sand dunes – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/750, ISO 250, 80-400mm VR at 300mm, natural light

Reddish Egrets are endemic to the Americas, occurring year round in coastal lagoons of Florida and along the Gulf Coast. They are primarily nonmigratory and are occasionally seen in California and a few other western states during the winters months.

Reddish egrets can live up to 12 years and eat small fish. They run across the waters of tidal mudflats when hunting and quite often use a method of “canopy feeding”, or forming an umbrella with their wings to create a shadow over the water and when they see small fish, they pounce.

Happy Father’s Day to all you great Dads out there!