Great egret (Ardea alba)
The great egret, a year-round Siesta Key resident, is an elegant heron adorned in magnificent white plumage.
While approaching the size of the great blue heron, the egret is slimmer with a more-slender bill and a much longer neck that often kinks into a familiar “S” shape.
Did you know the great egret serves as the “spokesbird” for the Audubon Society’s emblem and mission? It was the first critically endangered bird whose nearly tragic end in the 1800s was prevented by Audubon’s conservation efforts through legislation.
Today, we are able to witness the breathtaking cascade of the egret’s airy feathers that were, at one time, more likely to be seen in haute couture than in the wild!
A familiar sight wading in the shallows, the egret slowly and methodically stalks its next meal. A sharp bill akin to chop sticks grabs and stabs any aquatic animal that will fit down its serpentine gullet.
As you plan your Thanksgiving repast, be sure to set an extra place for this leggy marvel if sushi will be on the menu.
All of the Siesta Sand’s Tweet Life birds extend their warmest holiday wishes from their nest to yours!
Jan Baumgartner’s handmade notecards are available at Sunshine & Sand Hidden Treasures, 6635 Midnight Pass Rd., in Crescent Plaza.