Yesterday on Facebook I saw a video that reminded me of how much fun it was to get into the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico or a tidal lagoon and photograph Reddish Egrets while they hunted for prey. I must have watched the video a dozen times since I first saw it in my timeline.
You don’t have to be a member of Facebook to see the video here but you may have to scroll to get around the log into Facebook text. When the video first shows click the dark area in the background then click the smaller version of the video to play it other wise it doesn’t display the whole width and you can’t see the bird. I think the music they used for the video works great with the movement of the egret.
Reddish Egrets have two morphs, the dark morph where they are reddish and a white morph. The white morphs are less common in the U.S. and in the Caribbean the white morphs predominate.
I photographed this white morph Reddish Egret hunting in the Gulf of Mexico in June of 2008 and truly enjoyed observing its hunting behavior through my lens. Reddish Egrets sway, run, dash, prance and dance while they are hunting.
I’ve had this species completely ignore me while I have sat photographing them in quiet lagoons as they ran around chasing prey, at times I had them come so close to me that I couldn’t focus on them and wondered if I was going to get run over by a wading bird.
In this frame the Reddish Egret had plunged its head and bill into the water in an attempt to capture prey.
I loved photographing both morphs but always enjoyed seeing the white morphs against the blue water of the Gulf and tidal lagoons.
There are only about 2000 breeding pairs of Reddish Egrets in the United States making them our least common, or even rarest wading bird. They are found along the Atlantic coast of Florida, the Gulf coast, the coast of Mexico west towards Baja, Central America, the Caribbean and the northern coast of South America.
I’m glad I was able to spend so much time photographing Reddish Egrets in Florida. The video I shared reminded me of how much fun it was to photograph these delightful wading birds while they hunted.
Life is good.
Click to see more images of this species.