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2023 February Bird

The featured bird for February 2023 is a Snowy Egret coming in for a landing.

snowy egret, stormy sky, white bird landing, yellow feet

The snowy egret is a medium-sized heron mostly found along the coast, especially along shallow beach water and mudflats.

Family: Ardeidae
Species: Egretta thula
Length: 22.1-26.0 in (56-66 cm)
Wingspan: 39.4 in (100 cm)
Weight: 13.1 oz (370 g)

The snowy egret is similar in size to the also white cattle egret and looks very similar to the great white egret and white morphs of the reddish egret. The best way to tell the snowy egret from the other white egrets: the face has a patch of yellow, the bill is black, the legs are black, and the feet are yellow.

The snowy white egret’s most unique feature: at the end of those long black legs are yellow feet or “golden slippers” if you will.

As this wading bird hunts for little fish in shallow water, the brightness of the yellow feet may be part of its strategy.

What makes the snowy egret especially photogenic are those longer, thin feathers on its head and along its neck that will blow around in the wind or when the egret runs.

Here around St. Pete, the snowy egret seems to be the most populous egret. You’re pretty much guaranteed to see one (or many) anytime you go to the beach or near shallow gulf water.

This one I photographed at Fort DeSoto on the fishing pier.

Purchase the 2023 calendar

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