Birds of the Week # 2
The Snowy Egrets eat fish, crustaceans, insects, small reptiles, snails, frogs, worms and crayfish. They stalk prey in shallow water, often running or shuffling their feet, flushing prey into view by swaying their heads, flicking their wings or vibrating their bills. They may also hover, or “dip-fish” by flying with their feet just above the water surface. Snowy egrets may also stand still and wait to ambush prey, or hunt for insects stirred up by domestic animals in open fields. They sometimes forage in mixed species groups.
In North America, large numbers of Great Egrets were killed around the end of the 19th century so that their plumes could be used to decorate hats. Numbers have since recovered as a result of conservation measures. Its range has expanded as far north as southern Canada. However, in some parts of the southern United States, its numbers have declined due to habitat loss, particularly wetland degradation through drainage, grazing, clearing, burning, increased salinity, groundwater extraction and invasion by exotic plants. Nevertheless, the species adapts well to human habitation and can be readily seen near wetlands and bodies of water in urban and suburban areas.
American White Ibis
The American White Ibis is most common in Florida, where over 30,000 have been counted in a single breeding colony. It also occurs throughout the Caribbean, on both coasts of Mexico (from Baja California southwards) and Central America, and as far south as Colombia and Venezuela. The non-breeding range extends further inland, reaching north to Virginia, and west to eastern Texas.
Tricolored Herons breed in swamps and other coastal habitats. They nest in colonies, often with other herons, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. In each clutch, three to seven eggs are typically laid.
Its habitat is deciduous and mixed woods as well as gardens, parks, and shrublands. Although the Tufted Titmouse is non-migratory and originally native to the Ohio and Mississippi River basins, factors such as bird feeders have caused these birds to occupy a larger amount of territory across the United States and stretching into Ontario, Canada.
© HJ Ruiz – Avian101