Still Learning at 75

I don’t know if ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ but I have found that seeking out beauty

often leads to new insights about nature. I never miss a chance to get a shot of a Snowy Egret because it yields some beautiful photos.

While photographing this Snow Egret, though, I saw something I had never noticed before. At first I thought it was just trying to quietly walk while stalking prey, something common to all herons,

but it soon became clear that wasn’t what was going on.

The egret was actually moving its foot up and down in one spot, consciously stirring up the water.

I still don’t know exactly what it was trying to stir up, but it was clearly a hunting strategy.

I found this intriguing enough that I was going to post it earlier, but about the time that I was going to post it Robin Andrea posted an article noting the same behavior on her blog so I thought I would wait a respectable period before posting my observations. Cornell’s “All About Birds” says that the Snowy Egret “often uses its bright yellow feet to paddle in the water or probe in the mud, rounding up prey before striking with its bill.”

2 thoughts on “Still Learning at 75”

  1. Hey Loren, it’s true: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” Or at least a certain kind of truth…

    It’s also true that egrets make great and irresistible subjects. What’s not to love about that startling white plumage and impossibly skinny black legs with the reptilian orange-yellow thingies at the end? Nice shots!

  2. I am so surprised to see that egret exhibiting the same behavior we saw. Wow. I hadn’t seen it before either. Thank you so much for posting this. And you didn’t really have to wait, I would’ve loved it any time you posted it. Thank you for your kind consideration.

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