|Copyright: Preston Moochnek (massulo)
|Date Taken: 2005-05-13|
|Camera: Fuji Finepix S2 pro, Sigma 100-300 /4 HSM|
|Exposure: f/4.8, 1/3000 seconds|
|Details: Tripod: Yes|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2005-05-16 22:14|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Taken in Marco Isl Florida of this Adult Snowy Egret with my new Sigma 100-300 F4|
Egretta thula is 56-66 cm in length, with an approximate mass of 371 grams (Dunning, 1993). This small white heron is distinguished by its black bill, black legs, and yellow feet (Bull and Farrand, 1977). No sexual dimorphism has been reported for this species.
Status in Estuaries This species typically breeds in mixed-species colonies in salt marshes, freshwater marshes, ponds, and shallow coastal bays (Bull and Farrand, 1977; Spendelow and Patton, 1988). Compared to other egrets, snowy egrets tend to nest in more open areas, usually about 1.0 to 1.5 meters above the ground (Jenni, 1969). A typical clutch consists of 3 or 4 pale bluish-green eggs (Bull and Farrand, 1977). Young are altricial (Ehrlich et al., 1988).
Abundance and Range Breeds along the Atlantic Coast, and along inland water bodies such as the Mississippi River. This species may overwinter in Florida, the Caribbean or South America (Hancock and Kushlan, 1984). The species was nearly brought to extinction as a result of plume-hunting during the early 20th century. Surveys conducted in 1975 and 1976 estimated a population size between 23,000 to 32,000 along the Atlantic coast (Hancock and Kushlan, 1984). In 1976 to 1977, 26,800 individuals were counted along the Atlantic Coast, 20,632 along the Florida Coast and 112,847 along the Gulf Coast (Spendelow and Patton, 1988).
Site Fidelity Egrets nesting earliest in the breeding season tend to occupy nest sites from previous seasons (Jenni, 1969).
Ease of Census Simple.
Feeding Habits Generalist. The snowy egret forages by walking slowly or standing motionless in water and striking at prey. It has been found feeding at oyster bars, tidal creeks, freshwater ponds, and saltflats (Custer and Osborn, 1978). This heron typically forages within 2 km of the breeding colony, though feeding has been observed up to 18 km away (Custer and Osborn, 1978). Prey includes aquatic organisms and insects, specifically shrimp, small fish, mollusks, frogs, and terrestrial and aquatic insects (Hancock and Kushlan, 1984).
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