I went for a walk in the rain this morning, heading to the North Pond, hoping to see the grey heron again. I was curious to learn if what I’d been told was true: that it wasn’t a grey heron but a juvenile great blue.
The white bird was visible from a great distance away. Rounding the bottom of the pond, I came to the snag where the cormorants hang. From there, I could see the white bird, flanked by the great blue heron and the ‘grey heron’, on the opposite side. (Click image to enlarge.)
I returned in the afternoon to get another look at the bird, a great egret, which is easy to identify because of its black legs, yellow bill, and pure white plumage. It was great fun to see the bird wading along, so elegant-looking.
The Audubon Society was founded to keep the great egret from extinction. The bird was slaughtered in great numbers in the 19th century, when its feathers (particularly in breeding season, when it grows special fluffy nuptial plumage) were ‘harvested’ to make hats for ladies. Thanks to preservationists, this glorious bird is still with us today.