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Snowy Egret

Egretta thula ORDER: PELECANIFORMES FAMILY: ARDEIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Among the most elegant of the herons, the slender Snowy Egret sets off immaculate white plumage with black legs and brilliant yellow feet. Those feet seem to play a role in stirring up or herding small aquatic animals as the egret forages. Breeding Snowy Egrets grow filmy, curving plumes that once fetched astronomical prices in the fashion industry, endangering the species. Early conservationists rallied to protect egrets by the early twentieth century, and this species is once again a common sight in shallow coastal wetlands.

Calls

Snowy Egrets are quiet except on breeding sites, where they give raspy or nasal calls, including loud, harsh squawks to signal aggression.

Other Sounds

Snowy Egrets make clicking sounds by snapping their bills closed during aggressive displays.

Search the Macaulay Library online archive for more sounds and videos

Find This Bird

Your best chances of seeing Snowy Egrets will come on a trip to the coast, especially to places with mudflats and tidal wetlands. Scan the shallows for slender, medium-sized white herons with black bills and legs. A closer inspection will likely reveal the yellow facial skin and feet of a Snowy Egret.

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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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