Every spring I look forward to the return of the elegant Great Egrets (Ardea alba) to our area. Unlike Great Blue Herons, which are with us throughout the winter, the egrets migrate south and return only in mid-spring when the weather has warmed up a bit.
One of the highlight of egrets at this time of the year is their beautiful breeding plumage and the green lores (the area between the bill and eye). When I spotted an egret grooming itself in the early morning, I was able to capture a sense of the long additional plumes that it was sporting.
Unlike Great Blue Herons, which patiently wait for a big catch, this Great Egret at Huntley Meadows Park seemed content with a series of small bites. I think that it is a little fish, but I am not entirely certain what the egret is consuming as a snack.
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.