Great Egrets

For years when I saw a flash of white in the distance, I wondered whether I was seeing a Snowy Egret or Great Egret. After all, I hardly ever see either up in the Pacific Northwest where the Great Blue Heron dominates the wetlands. In the beginning the two looked quite similar to me, especially at a distance.

 Great Egret in Flight

Gradually I learned to recognize the feathery appearance of the Snowy Egret, which only led to further confusion if I happened to see a Great Egret when it’s coat was blowing in the wind:

Great Egret

Once you see a Great Egret and a Snowy Egret standing near each other, however, it’s nearly impossible to ever confuse them again. This Great Egret

Great Egret

and this Snowy Egret were standing feet away from each other a the end of Lake Ralphine.

Snowy Egret

I avoided my usual cropping to show their relative size to each other. And, if you look carefully you can see that the color of the beaks and legs are also, strangely enough, reversed in the two. Hard to confuse the two.

Photographically, I’ve fallen in love with the feathery brightness of the Snowy Egret, but that doesn’t mean I don’t continue to appreciate the noble stature of the Great Egret

Egret with Reflection

or marvel at its ability to effortlessly and quietly through the dense underbrush while stalking prey.

Great Egret Stalking Prey

4 thoughts on “Great Egrets”

    1. But not young Great Blue Herons, which look like the adults I show quite regularly. Pretty sure I’ve never seen a Little Blue Heron.

      I thought about mentioning that I can tell the difference between a Snowy Egret and a Cattle Egret, but didn’t want to confuse matters.

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