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Great Egrets In The Early Morning Sun
When I arrived at the rookery, at first I was disappointed that the sun was coming from the wrong direction. But beautiful backlit shots can be had in the early morning when the sun is coming from behind your subject, and that was the case for this photo!
Male and female Great Egrets are sitting on eggs in the nest. You can’t see the eggs in this shot, but I did see them later, and they are bright blue. These egrets are in full breeding plumage; you can see their beautiful feathers in the sunlight in this image. Back in the early 1900s, huge numbers of the birds were killed for this beautiful plumage to make hats. Luckily, that practice finally became illegal before the birds became extinct.
From National Geographic: “These birds nest in trees, near water and gather in groups called colonies (or rookeries), which may include other heron or egret species. They are monogamous, and both parents incubate their three to four eggs. Young egrets are aggressive towards one another in the nest, and stronger siblings often kill their weaker kin so that not all survive to fledge in two to three weeks.”
Photo taken on April 17, 2018, near the South Carolina coast.