The Majestic Great Egret

I can remember the first time I ever saw a Great Egret.  I was in my early twenties. I was on hwy 4 heading for Byron when a shadow, so big that it rivaled what I would imagine a Pterodactyl’s shadow would encompass!

I sat forward in my seat exclaiming, “What the heck was that?!”  Never, in all my twenty years had I witnessed such a huge shadow and it was exciting.  I caught a glimpse of the beast, enough to try and identify it when I got home.  I took out my handy Audubon Bird Identification booklet and looked it up.

The Great Egret (of the Heron family)

I was an instant fan of this majestic bird.  I was curious why I had never encountered one of these behemoth’s before.  Apparently our forefathers hunted them to near extinction in the late 19th century.  What were they hunting them for you ask?  Meat?  No. Survival? Uh uh.  For their feathers!!  They were used to adorn hats!  More often than not, I’m embarrassed how frontiersmen took, used, decimated, whatever they felt like.

Well, this beautiful bird made a comeback in short order.  Now, I see flocks of them!  Such a regal, majestic bird when fishing, flying, nesting, they are awesome! They like to eat fish.  They use that needlepoint bill of theirs to skewer fish.  They will stand as still as a stone, then swack! They skewer dinner!

The photo above I took at New Hogan Dam where there is a flock I enjoy watching.  The Heron is such a large bird that binoculars work great from a distance.  Their cousin the Blue Heron also frequents the lake.  This bird is so awesome it can make those big, rusty, metal balls look pretty:

All I can say is, “I’m glad your back.”

Oh, I almost forgot!  The Audubon has Live bird webcams all over the world! You can go to their website, or click this link and choose which cam to watch.  It’s so cool! Thank you Audubon!

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