"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."
Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Great Egret visit

A Great Egret walks down a residential street in Mission Viejo.  Photo by Ken Meyer
We're probably a half mile from the nearest creek, which is why I was surprised to see this Great Egret strolling down our street.  My husband saw the bird as he drove up and called me on the phone to come out and take a look.  He followed it to the neighbor's house where it walked up the driveway and into the bushes in their front yard.  The egret stood still next to a palm tree for a couple minutes, then snatched a lizard when it ran up the tree.

Great Egrets are tall, long-legged wading birds. It hunts in classic heron fashion, standing immobile or wading through wetlands to capture a fish with a deadly jab of their yellow bill.  In flight, its long neck is tucked in and the legs extend back.

It's hard to believe that Great Egrets, herons and other elegant birds were hunted to near extinction for their plumes to adorn women's hats in the late nineteenth century.  Their plight sparked conservation movements and lead to some of the first laws to protect birds.

Happy Birding!

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