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Reddish Egret

Silhouette HeronsHerons
Reddish EgretEgretta rufescens
  • ORDER: Pelecaniformes
  • FAMILY: Ardeidae

Basic Description

In the stately and dignified world of herons, Reddish Egrets are the swashbuckling cousins. These big, cinnamon and steely gray birds put on a show as they forage in shallow saltwater. They race back and forth, open and shut their wings, stir up sediment with their feet, and even swoop low over the water in flight—all in pursuit of small fish. Reddish Egrets also have a rarer, all-white plumage or "morph." In any plumage, the two-toned bill and shaggy head and neck feathers give them a distinctive look.

More ID Info
image of range map for Reddish EgretRange map provided by Birds of the WorldExplore Maps

Find This Bird

In the U.S., look for Reddish Egrets on the Gulf Coast, particularly South Texas, or in the Florida Keys. Pull up to an inlet or salt flat at low tide and watch for an animated heron with a two-toned bill; or visit (at a respectful distance) colonies on mangrove islands, where the birds often nest with pelicans, other herons, and spoonbills. As they are often seen at a distance, a spotting scope is helpful for viewing these entertaining birds in detail.

Other Names

  • Garceta rojiza (Spanish)
  • Aigrette roussâtre (French)
  • Cool Facts

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