Reddish Egrets’ dusky pink and grayish-blue tones and energetic racing about to catch fish certainly make this one of the best birds to watch.
Although they are called Reddish Egrets, they actually come in dark and light morphs, although white morphs are rare.
Dark morph Reddish Egrets have blue-gray bodies and cinnamon-toned heads, necks, and breasts. Their bills are pink with a black tips.
White morphs have entirely white bodies. However, they both have straw yellow eyes with darker skin around (lores) and their legs and feet are blue-black.
Juveniles are also dark or white, and adults will mate with either morph.
- Egretta rufescens
- Length: 27 – 32 in (69 – 81 cm)
- Weight: 15.9 oz (451 g)
- Wingspan: 46 in (117 cm)
Reddish Egrets remain all year along the Gulf Coast, East Coast, and Mexico down to northern South America.
Habitat And Diet
You can find Reddish Egrets in open marine flats and shorelines. They also inhabit marshes, shallow bays, and lagoons.
Generally, Reddish Egrets forage and feed alone. They run across shallow, flooded flats in hopes of catching fish. When they’re successful in scaring fish up, they immediately stab them with their beaks.
Reddish Egret Call:
Nests of Reddish Egrets are often in colonies and built by both parents into a platform of sticks. They are usually on protected islands with nearby feeding areas.
The female lays up to seven eggs that take twenty-five days to incubate by both parents. They both care for the young even when they leave the nest and will feed their young for up to nine weeks.
During mating, the male’s feathers puff out and stand out on its head, neck, and back, and he will perform a head toss display and beak snapping.