Florida Birds 2022

Ballet of the Reddish Egret

I have always been fascinated with the method the Reddish Egrets use to catch small fish. It reminds me of a somewhat frantic ballet. Their movements are quick and energetic sometimes running, sometimes jumping or flying low over the water. They use their wings to shade the water to see the fish. The jumping stirs up the silt to startle the fish, while flying low herds them towards higher ground. All of this is done with a great deal of athleticism and a certain amount of grace. This distinctive behavior is very entertaining to watch.

First Encounter

During my trip I was fortunate to observe two Reddish Egrets performing their ballet. The first one fished right in front of me for quite a long time. I’ve put together a series of images of my encounter below. I think you’ll understand why I think in terms of ballet.

(Click the image to open, then on the arrows on the side for the next image or click on the arrow in the bottom left-hand corner to turn on the slide show feature)

Reddish Egret

Image 1 of 12

Second Encounter

This fellow put on quite a show as well, but his fishing took him away from my position so I didn’t get as much time with him. He was equally enthusiastic, however, and got good results.

Reddish Egret

Image 1 of 7

These are among some of my favorite images from this trip. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing them. Thanks for taking your time to view them. More to come in the next post. Cheryl

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2 Comments

  1. patricia gill April 23, 2022 at 2:59 pm #

    thanks Cheryl, as usual you have a great eye and such a good story.
    i’ve see egrets in louisiana my whole life and never really thought about their diet. i knew they fished, but now i think in florida those chose the fish and not settle for one. and the water around them may be cleaner and clearer. high quaility for those in florida.

    thanks again

    • Cheryl Schneider May 4, 2022 at 6:02 pm #

      Thanks so much! Florida has both swamps and wetlands and I expect the wetlands where I was photographing is clearer water. It’s certainly easier to see the birds! I just love the way these particular egrets move. So fun to watch.

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