The Heron Prince
Well, here I am once again, humbled before one of nature’s magnificent creatures. Meet my friend. For clarification I am submitting the following definition from Wikipedia:
The Great Egret also known as Common Egret, Large Egret or Great White Heron, is a largely, widely distributed egret. Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world, in southern Europe it is rather localized. In North American it is more widely distributed, and it is ubiquitous across the Sun Belt of the US and in the Neotropics. The Old World population is often referred to as the Great White Egret. This species is sometimes confused with the Great White Heron of the Caribbean, which s a white morph of the closely related Great Blue Heron.
The Great Egret is a large heron with all-white plumage. Standing up to 3.3 ft tall, this species can measure 31 to 41 inches in length and have a wingspan of 52-67 inches. It’s average weight is about 2.2 lbs. It is thus only slightly smaller than the Great Blue or Grey Heron. Apart from size, the Great Egret can be distinguished from other white egrets by its yellow bill and black legs and feet. In breeding plumage, delicate ornamental feathers are borne on the back. Males and females are identical in appearance. It has a slow flight, with its neck retracted. This is characteristic of herons and bitterns, and distinguishes them from storks, cranes, ibises and spoonbills, which extend their necks in flight.
The Great Egret is not normally a vocal bird; at breeding colonies, however, it often gives a loud croaking cuk cuk cuk.
( I have, indeed, heard this sound)
Like all egrets, it is a member of the heron family, Ardeidae. The Great Egret-unlike typical egrets-does not belong to the genus Egretta but together with the great herons is today placed in Ardea.
The Great Egret is partially migratory, with northern hemisphere birds moving south from areas with colder winters. It breeds in colonies in trees close to large lakes with reed beds or other extensive wetlands. It builds a stick nest.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
And that is where my story begins. That is where I found this stately bird. On a routine drive by the Lakes of Louisiana State University, we spotted the mass of migratory birds that had stopped there on their way farther South; but by the time I went home to retrieve my camera and returned, they had taken to the air. So I turned my attention to the water, capturing photos of the family situations-pelicans and ducks. The next day I returned to see if any migratory birds were still around but the lake was merely dotted with birds. This lovely white creature was perched on the post of a dock near the lake. As I began shooting, it reacted to my presence like royalty; and what followed was nothing short of a professional photo shoot with a beautiful creature. Here is the result of that chilly morning encounter.
As I turn my attention from the lake, I spot Sir Great Egret, aka Heron, minding its his own business, braced against the chilly winds. “South”, I can hear him mumbling to himself. “This is not my idea of a Southern vacation.”
As I crept in slowly, I thought it would surely spot me and take flight. I, of course, had my camera set for rapid movement. He didn’t flinch, didn’t move. Instead, he braced himself against the winds and took his place on the pedestal. I have made a slide show for you below, showing the…
Many Faces of Prince Heron
And so I tiptoe away, leaving his highness to reflect by the lake once more. I am forever in awe of Mother Nature’s gifts and the beauty that is a part of her living Essence.