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Adult Great Egret in breeding plumage

April 26, 2013

One of my goals when visiting Florida, was to see common birds that spend summer/fall in New Jersey but are rarely seen in their breeding plumage. Excellent example is a Great Egret (Ardea alba), displaying:

Great Egret - adult in breeding plumage - Ardea alba - Venice Rookery, Fl

– for larger view and EXIF data, please click on the image – Photograph taken with a Canon 7D camera and 500mm f/4 lens + 1.4 II teleconverter

“Cool facts:

– The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society, one of the oldest environmental organizations in North America. Audubon was founded to protect birds from being killed for their feathers.

– Not all young that hatch survive the nestling period. Aggression among nestlings is common and large chicks frequently kill their smaller siblings.

– The pristinely white Great Egret gets even more dressed up for the breeding season. A patch of skin on its face turns neon green, and long plumes grow from its back. Called aigrettes, those plumes were the bane of egrets in the late nineteenth century, when such adornments were prized for ladies’ hats.” – Cornell Lab

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