This is the final post of my trip to Texas
during the Christmas holiday.
I saved, what I think, is the best photo for last. I have been coveting this photo, even have it as the screensaver on my laptop.
This is the Great Egret (Ardea alba),
feeding in the brackish waters within Brackridge Park.
See his stance, how he just stands and waits!
Oh, to be so patient!
Great Egrets were all over the Texas landscape during my visit. On a weekend journey to Houston, Kirsten and I observed them foraging in the farmer's fields all along the highway. Here in the Northeast, we anxiously await their return in the spring, where they are mostly found in the marshes and other quiet waters.
They are strictly carnivorous, their bills adapted for spearing and grasping. In the dry agricultural fields, they prey on grasshoppers and rodents. In the wetlands, their food of choice is mostly fish, although they also dine on crustaceans, frogs, salamanders, snakes and aquatic insects.
Usually, they nest in trees, shrubs, or thickets near water.
In the late 1800's, the Great Egret's plumes were quite fashionable on ladies' hats, and the population
was nearly wiped out. But early in the twentieth century, conservationists recognized the urgent need to protect this species, and they made an amazingly rapid comeback. To this day, the Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society.
This is an entry in WeekEnd Reflections. To see more photos, click HERE!
And to see more CameraCritters from around the world, click on THIS SPOT!