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Friday, March 5, 2010

Great Egret

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!

38 comments:

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Wonderful photo and post, Karen.

Regina said...

Amazing captures and reflections!
Happy weekend.

Niesz Vintage Home said...

What a beautiful bird!
Lovely photos, too. :-)

Kimberly

cieldequimper said...

Amazing reflection and background!

Xavi said...

What a beautiful Egret reflection!

Stephanie said...

That first photo is amazing...worthy of being in a book or framed for sure.

Johnny Nutcase said...

I love egrets, they're fun to watch - patient indeed! much more than i am :) I love the water in that first picture - really cool!

KaHolly said...

Thank you, all, for visiting today, especially new guests! I really appreciate that you stopped by. ~karen

Susan said...

Hi Karen! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and your wonderful comment. You are so lucky to see otters regularly! I love kayaking and we hope to get back into it this summer. I've been looking around at your photos, they are simply stunning - I'm your newest follower!

I love nature and wildlife, thank you for sharing so much of your knowledge. The reflections in this piece almost look surreal and the egret is magificent - is the great egret the same as the snowy egret?

Have a wonderful weekend - Susan

JM said...

The first shot is wonderful! So sharp!

walk2write said...

Oh, that first shot is especially wonderful! You were lucky to see all of those egrets. It's funny you should talk about patience. I've been kidding my husband about it when he goes on walks with me. He should know by now that speed-walking is out when I bring my camera along.

Hugh said...

Wonderful images. I added a link in the "Other People's Herons" page on Daily Heron.

The Early Birder said...

Have to be one of my top ten favourite species. Lovely pics Karen. FAB.

Self Sagacity said...

Gorgeous! The first picture is just amazing! How did you do the background? So talented my dear!

KaHolly said...

Hugh, Thanks a million. I feel very honored.

Frank, thanks for stopping by. Thanks for the comment.

Self, the background just was! I did nothing special, nor did I enhance the picture in any way. Just got lucky!

Mary said...

That first photo is gorgeous! I love the background behind the egret and the reflection. All the elements make a perfect photo!

biobabbler said...

That is one of the most spectacular and distinctive pictures I've seen in a long time. Wonderful! Congrats. Truly one to be proud of.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Karen: What a wonderful look at this neat bird, I saw some in Florida and they are wonderful.

KaHolly said...

BioBlabber, thank you so much! It was a delightful surprise! Thanks for your visit!

Tom, Certainly is one of my favorites!

Captain Shagrat said...

This is a 'great' great Egret shot, the swirly water colour is so retro. One of the nicest shots that I've seen this year.

KaHolly said...

Hi Captain, Thank you ever so much for such a nice compliment. And for visiting my blog today. I hope you enjoy your weekend. ~karen

Brooke said...

Beautiful shots! The water and bird reflections in the first one are just stunning.

Snap said...

All the shots are great, but that first one with the reflection ... WOW!

eileeninmd said...

Awesome reflection and a beautiful shot of the Egret. Well done!

Oskar said...

I especially love that first picture!

Lily Hydrangea said...

That is an awesome shot! thanks for sharing it with us.

Nefertiti said...

Superbe ! Bravo

hopeseguin said...

Your photographs . . . and your thoughts . . . are beautiful . . .

Hope

Rambling Woods said...

Great photos and information..Thanks for putting up a 'Save the Frogs' badge on your side bar...Michelle

Diane AZ said...

Fantastic refletion image! I love the colors and composition.

awarewriter said...

The first image of the great egret is remarkable. Wonderful!!!!

Carver said...

This is a wonderful sequence of shots of the egrets.

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Just beautiful pictures! - thanks for sharing the info - we really love birds but know very little about them. We have beautiful Egret's in our area too.
Darryl and Ruth : )

Stine in Ontario said...

I LOVE egrets and I'm looking forward to their return to Canada! These a GREAT photos!

Kay said...

I keep coming back to that first picture of the Great Egret--it is simply breathtaking! You have such a gift. (of observation, of photography, of words)

Carrie P. said...

that first photo is just awesome!

lisaschaos said...

What a very pretty Egret! I especially love that first shot with his reflection! Pretty!

Marvin said...

Your top photo is stunning! The egret, the reflection, the patterns in the water -- stunning.