Reddish Egrets

Reddish Egret fishing in the surf

Reddish Egret fishing in the surf –  Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/400, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, not baited

 While I lived in Florida I took thousands (and thousands) of images of Reddish Egrets and I am very glad that I did because they are rarities in Utah, where I now live.

For the image above I laid down in the wet sand where the water lapped the shoreline to get a very low angle, the Reddish Egret wasn’t paying attention to me at all, it was completely focused on fishing for its breakfast. I love how the incoming wave broke just in front of the bird while it had the fish in its bill.

Fluffed up preening Reddish Egret

Fluffed up preening Reddish Egret – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 160, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 180mm, natural light, not baited

I’d had some problems with my Nikkor 80-400mm VR lens when I took the image above and had shipped it off for repair. I didn’t like to take my Nikkor 200-400mm VR f/4 to the beach because I was in the sand and water so often so instead I opted to take my Nikkor 70-300mm VR that day. Because many birds in Florida are used to human presence they are far less skittish than the birds here in Utah and I could easily use a shorter focal length.

This Reddish Egret was perched on a downed tree while preening and allowed a close approach. Though some people may think the angle is a bit steep I think the pose, the bird being in breeding plumage, ruffled “mane” and the feather stuck on the bill add interesting dynamics to the frame.

Until I get back to Florida for a “photocation” I will just enjoy the images I took while living there.



  1. Julie Brown November 12, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Nice pair of images, but I especially like the bottom one-a very unique perspective. This is another species that I have not photographed. I am going to south-central Florida during the last week of March 2012 for the Big O Birding Festival. Would I see some cool birds like this at Ding Darling? I have one day to spend in the Fort Myers area.

    • Mia McPherson November 12, 2011 at 8:43 am

      Julie, it is possible to see Reddish Egrets at Ding Darling, I have seen them there. Fort Meyers beach is another area where they might be found. The auto tour at Ding Darling is fun, I suspect you will see plenty of birds there.

  2. Bob Zeller November 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Fantastic shot, Mia. I love that preening pose. Well done! 🙂

    • Mia McPherson November 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

      Thank you so much Bob, Reddish Egrets are a blast to photograph.

  3. Jeremy Medina November 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Amazing shot! I’ve got to get down there one of these days.

    • Mia McPherson November 12, 2011 at 8:37 am

      Thanks Jeremy, I think you would love going to FL for bird photography!

  4. Garen Johnson November 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Well I love the preening shot! The single leg and awesome mane are fantastic!

    • Mia McPherson November 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks so much Garen, the series of the preening Reddish Egret brings back great memories for me.

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