Breakfast 1 and twice the price of gold

Posted: June 8, 2020 in birds
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I know it’s rude to watch someone while they’re eating, and even worse, take photos, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I caught this snowy egret mid-gulp and nope, I don’t feel bad about it at all.

Snowy egret or great egret? Egret or heron? If you’re not sure which egret is which, as I wasn’t, the site linked above lets you compare types side-by-side, which is really helpful. The snowy egret has a dark beak with yellow at the top and by the eyes as well as yellow feet, which you can’t see here. The great egret has a yellow-orange bill and is much larger. But I didn’t know that egrets are also herons. Did you?

And did you know snowy egrets were once more precious than gold? The allaboutbirds site says:

During the breeding season, adult Snowy Egrets develop long, wispy feathers on their backs, necks, and heads. In 1886 these plumes were valued at $32 per ounce, which was twice the price of gold at the time. Plume-hunting for the fashion industry killed many Snowy Egrets and other birds until reforms were passed in the early twentieth century. The recovery of shorebird populations through the work of concerned citizens was an early triumph and helped give birth to the conservation movement.

Talk about killer fashion! Makes me even happier to see crowds of these fashion leaders now at the Riparian Preserve!

  1. Sandra says:

    Great shot!

  2. Ally Bean says:

    What a photo! Glad this guy can be beautiful without worrying about getting plucked.

  3. scr4pl80 says:

    Wow, love this shot.

  4. I didn’t know that about egrets being herons. But I knew about their poor feather value way back when. At that time we also had native parakeet type birds, and they all became hat decorations to the point of extinction 😦 When I was younger, I admired the work that John James Audubon did with painting of the bird species. At the time it horrified me to learn that to get such great details, he killed the birds to get a better look at them. Now that I, too, am painting birds, I have a different understanding of why he did that. Not that I would actually kill a bird to look at it better…. but now I sure understand the desire to do so.

  5. Beautiful, and it was a learning moment.

    • It was, Judy. One nice thing is now that we moved and I have the taxes done and quite a lot of other things I wanted to do, I have time to read about the birds I’m seeing and try to identify them.

  6. restlessjo says:

    I hope he didn’t get hiccups! I always do when I gulp πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Remind me not to eat cake if you’re about with your camera. Have a great week, Janet!

    • I have a feeling he eats that way all the time. πŸ˜‰. Good thing. Just imagine he had teeth to chew his food!!!! Yikes!

      P. S. If you eat cake that way, look for me to be lurking with camera at the ready. πŸ‘€

  7. Dan Antion says:

    I did not know that about egrets.

    That’s a great photo.

  8. pommepal says:

    Great catch for both of you πŸ‘

  9. […] Breakfast 1 and twice the price of gold […]

  10. peggyjoan42 says:

    A perfect picture. Such a beautiful bird.

  11. Resa says:

    Great info in this post, Janet. The shot is quite adorable. Thank you!