Reddish Egret

Egretta rufescens

We normally find the Reddish Egret, like its cousin the Little Blue Heron, in Central America, The Bahamas, the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast of the United States, and Mexico. Sightings in San Diego have become regular in the past few years. As one of the most active of hunters, we see them ‘dancing’ over the shallow waters to scare prey into the open. One of their signature moves is to circle their wings overhead like an umbrella and bring their fish prey into view. While this umbrella move isn’t as dramatic as its African cousin the Black Heron, they will use their wings to create a shadow and cut the glare from the water’s surface to better see their prey.

In Texas, I found a white-morph Reddish egret foraging in the surf at the mouth of the Rio Grande. I thought it was another Snowy Egret until I examined the photos I took and noticed the discrepancies.

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