Great Egret

Great Egret

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Great Egrets are often seen flying over Kaweah Oaks Preserve on their way to somewhere else! They might be seen alone the creek banks when water is running in the canals. 

Great egrets are most often seen in their classic hunting stance: standing in shallow water quietly watching for fish, frogs, or crayfish to swim by. If you are patient enough to watch them feed, you will be amazed at their lightning-fast response and accuracy when they plunge their head underwater to nab a quivering fish. Though well suited for hunting in water, egrets can often be seen in open fields stalking mice and voles driven from their burrows by winter rains. These birds are voracious hunters and will eat about any animal big enough to see and small enough to swallow. 

Identification Tips:

Sexes similar 
Large long-legged long-necked wading bird 
Usually holds neck in an "S" curve in flight 
Long, thick yellow bill 
Black legs and feet 
Entirely white plumage 
Juvenile similar to basic-plumaged adult 

Adult alternate: 
Shaggy neck and back plumes 

Similar species: 
Cattle Egret much smaller with a shorter, stubbier bill and pale legs. Snowy Egret is smaller and has black bill and yellow feet. Immature Little blue Heron is smaller and has a pale bill with a black tip, and green legs. Reddish Egrets (white morph) have pale bills with black tips and blue-gray legs. The "Great White" Heron of southern Florida has yellow legs. 

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