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This gorgeous Snowy Egret is in full breeding plumage in the spring. He may be courting a female or he may already have found a mate and be nesting. I saw him land on this branch on a tiny island with lots of trees in a small pond, one of many egrets nesting there.
From Cornell Labs: “Those brilliant yellow feet seem to play a role in stirring up or herding small aquatic animals as the egret forages. Breeding Snowy Egrets grow filmy, curving plumes that once fetched astronomical prices in the fashion industry, endangering the species. Early conservationists rallied to protect egrets by the early twentieth century, and this species is once again a common sight in shallow coastal wetlands.”
Photo taken on April 20, 2018, on the southern coast of South Carolina.