Posts Tagged ‘egrets’

for Six Word Saturday 9.12.20

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!

As most of you already know, last week I left my canal walks, heading for The Riparian Preserve in Gilbert, Arizona. The City of Gilbert manages the seven recharge basins (lakes) to replicate wet and dry periods.

A riparian habitat or riparian zone is a type of wildlife habitat found along the banks of a river, stream, or other actively moving source of water such as a spring or waterfall. The term generally refers only to freshwater or mildly brackish habitats surrounded by vegetation and may include marshes, swamps, or bogs adjacent to rivers. The Spruce

Birds are the big draw for a large number of people. The many trails are also perfect for walking, jogging, biking, or even in some places, horseback riding. It’s also used for dog walking and fishing and…photography.

Even at 5 am, just before sunrise, everyone is out and about! There are lots of egrets rushing in all directions for juicy insects and perhaps some fish.

The duck family wasn’t too afraid of me and although Mama kept an eye on me, everyone else was busy eating and cleaning themselves.

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Not far from us is the Lake Renwick Preserve, home to cormorants, egrets, herons, pelicans and more. During the breeding season, March 1 through mid-August, the preserve is only open for public programs and guided bird viewing so as not to interrupt or bother the birds. On a nice day, it’s a lovely walk. This day was several summers ago, but worth a revisit!

Tree swallow seems like a rather colorless name for this bright beauty.

© janet m. webb

The main nesting area looks more than a bit like something from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

© janet m. webb
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We’ve made it thought the park and back to the parking lot, saddened that the best part of the morning is over.  Or is it?  As I drive the van toward the main road, I look to the right, to where the water is slow, forming a large pond/small lake.  Behold!  A fisherman!  Pull over, park, and find a rock.  Limber up the clicking finger, focus the telephoto, and we’re off. As Yogi Berra (not Bear) once said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”  And we have a few more photos to take.

Waiting; the personification of patience.  Animalification?

© janet m. webb 2016

Stealthily on the move.  Is that a feather duster in the back?  🙂

© janet m. webb 2016

Streeeetch.  (I’d say “Craning”, but as it’s an egret, that might get confusing.) 🙂

© janet m. webb 2016

I sat for a long while on a warm rock, taking photos and just watching.  When I finally rose to leave, you guessed it.  Plop.  Another frog missed.  But I did get a shot of one recently and that will likely be coming up Tuesday.

Have a marvelous weekend and thanks for walking with me.