Snowy Reflections

Many thousands of elegant Snowy Egrets were “slaughtered for [their] plumes in the 19th century, but protection brought a rapid recovery of numbers, and the Snowy Egret is now more widespread and common than ever.” (Audubon). Today the species is found throughout the United States, Central and South America (for a Range Map and more, see eBird).

This lovely wading bird’s most distinctive feature, their bright yellow ‘slippers’, are not visible in these shots, but its brilliant white plumage and graceful posture made a striking impression against the dark pond.

Like so many of our iconic wetland wading birds, habitat degradation and human disturbance have negatively impacted this beautiful bird. “Their biggest continuing threat is habitat loss: more than 100 million acres of wetlands in the U.S. have been drained since colonial times (when total wetland area was estimated at 127 million acres). Since Snowy Egrets spend more time feeding than many other herons, they may be especially sensitive to environmental changes that reduce available prey.” (All About Birds).

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