Panoramic View of Birds – Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret


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© HJ Ruiz – Avian101

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Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret


The Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) is a small white heron. The genus name comes from the Provençal French for the little egret aigrette, a diminutive of aigron, “heron”.

The snowy egret is the American counterpart to the very similar Old World little egret, which has established a foothold in the Bahamas. At one time, the beautiful plumes of the snowy egret were in great demand by market hunters as decorations for women’s hats. This reduced the population of the species to dangerously low levels.

Now protected in the United States by law, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, this bird’s population has rebounded.

Snowy egrets nest in colonies on thick vegetation in isolated places, such as barrier islands, dredge-spoil islands, salt marsh islands, swamps, and marshes. They often change location from year to year. During the breeding season, snowy egrets feed in estuaries, salt-marshes, tidal channels, shallow bays, and mangroves. They winter in mangroves, saltwater lagoons, freshwater swamps, grassy ponds, and temporary pools, and forage on beaches, shallow reefs, and wet fields.


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© HJ Ruiz – Avian101