The elegant heron fishing on the shores of the Pacific Flyway
The Snowy Egret and the Pacific Flyway
The Snowy Egret is considered the most elegant in the heron family with its’ brilliant white plumage, black legs and crazy yellow feet called “yellow slippers.” It uses its bright yellow feet to paddle in the water rounding up prey of fish and frogs, worms and crustaceans, insects and reptiles or even a small mouse can be on the menu. Snowy Egrets forage in the saltmarsh pools of estuaries or other shallow waters of the Pacific coast. The egrets feed while standing, walking, running, or hopping. They vibrate their bills, sway their heads or flick their wings before striking their prey with their long black bills.
In breeding season the Snowy Egret displays a beautiful wispy, feathery crown on its head and long plumes along its’ back and neck. Their gorgeous features were once a valued item in the fashion industry and Plume-hunting endangered the birds. Early conservationists insisted on reforms to protect the egrets and the species is once again a common sight in the tidal wetlands.
The Snowy Egret often changes locations season to season. Many western birds winter in Mexico. They are highly social no matter their location along the Pacific Flyway and can be seen foraging along with gulls, terns, pelicans, ibises and other herons.