“Among the most elegant of the herons, the slender Snowy Egret sets off immaculate white plumage with black legs and brilliant yellow feet.” (All About Birds). I’ve always loved the graceful mannerisms of the Snowy Egret, a species that was nearly decimated in the early 1900’s during the notorious plume trade, when an ounce of their feathers was worth more than twice an ounce of gold!!
Read more about the infamous plume hunting era at All About Birds and TOTI, and in this fascinating article published at Birds of Stanford about “American Museum of Natural History’s ornithologist, Frank Chapman, who spotted 40 native species of birds including sparrows, warblers, and woodpeckers on women’s hats” on the streets of Manhattan in 1886!!
The Snowies can frequently be seen on little fishing expeditions at this time of year, flying back and forth over the water. They repeatedly swoop over the ponds, dragging their awesome yellow feet along the surface, and lean in to grab a tiny fish snack. When wading, they stir up the mud with their feet to flush out their prey.
Taking a little break on the railing . . . all that vigorous fishing must be exhausting!