season, this stately bird displays long, silky tail flumes. These
feathers nearly led to its extinction by the early 1900s. Hunters
killed great egrets by the thousands to meet the demand for the
plumes for women's hat decorations. The species was saved by changes
in both fashions and laws.
great egret is the most commonly seen egret in North America.
It is often found along marshes, ponds and mudflats as far north
as the Great Lakes in the summer and as far south as South America
in the winter. It also lives in parts of Europe. Great egret nests,
constructed of sticks and reeds, frequently can be spotted high
egret is an excellent fisher, wading into the water with its long
blackish legs, leaning forward with its long neck extended and
waiting patiently for fish to swim by. Great egrets also eat frogs,
snakes and insects. This is the largest egret, standing about
40 inches tall and displaying a wingspan of up to 67 inches.
Text © 2000 Terry White, Drawing ©
2000 Bill Harrah