Snowy Egrets, as their name suggests, are small, all-white herons. They have yellow irises and skin around their eye, long, black bills, long, black legs, and bright yellow feet.
During the breeding season, long, lacy feathers appear on their heads, necks, and backs. Their lores or facial skin turn reddish-pink, and their toes turn orange-red during courtship.
Interestingly, these areas of their bodies also become bright red during aggressive encounters.
Juveniles are similar to adults but without head plumes. The colors on their bills and legs are also lighter, with lores and legs more greenish-yellow.
- Egretta thula
- Length: 22 – 27 in (56 -69 cm)
- Weight: 16.75 oz (475 g)
- Wingspan: 39.4 in (100 cm)
Snowy Egrets migrate from most US states, except along the Gulf Coast and southwest coast. They remain all year in Mexico, Central, and South America.
Habitat And Diet
You can find Snowy Egrets in shallow, wetland habitats such as marshes, riverbanks, lakesides, pools, salt marshes, and estuaries. For nesting, they prefer swamp forests with protective trees and bushes.
Snowy Egrets hunt in shallow water for fish, crustaceans, snails, frogs, and crayfish. They may stand still and wait for prey to come to them or may also disturb the water to bring their prey to the surface to make it easier for them to catch.
Snowy Egret Call:
Nests of Snowy Egrets are chosen by the males. They select the location and go on full display to attract their mates. When they pair up, the males continue to supply sticks, sedges, or reeds while the female builds the nest.
Nests are usually located in trees or concealed in shrubs on the ground. The female then lays two to six eggs, and both parents take turns incubating their eggs. Incubation usually lasts twenty-four days.
Snowy Egrets were almost hunted down to extinction because of their beautiful white head feathers that were the perfect decoration or accessory to women’s hats.