Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Those beautiful Snowy Egrets...

Birding Longboat Key, FloridaA filmy flash of white feathers settled by the side of the road as I was driving on Longboat Key. The movement was so graceful and elegant I had to pull over to see what had landed there. Picking my way carefully down a sandy little path bordered by brush, rocks and stunted trees, I was happy to find a dainty little Snowy Egret tucked away in a shady little cove, already working on the task at hand--fishing. The beautiful bird had chosen the darkest part of the cove to fish in, and his white feathers almost seemed to glow against the deep greens in the background. I just hunkered down and was quiet, watching him as he moved in and out of the shadows eyeing the little silver fish glimmering just beneath the surface of the water.

...only a Snowy Egret can make catching a fish look sexy.

The deep shadows cast from the trees on the wooded embankment softened the scene and made this beautiful bird even more gorgeous.

...slipping through the water, Snowy would lift one slender leg after another, showing off those lovely golden slippers.

...his fluffy plumes being tossed around in the breeze were beautiful. It's easy to see how Snowy Egret populations were decimated during the great millinery feather trade of the mid 1850s and early 1900s. Thank goodness women like Florence Merriam Bailey worked to curb this millinery fashion style, saving our Snowy Egrets from extinction.

...as I climbed back up the sandy little hill, Snowy was still fishing, walking the shallows patient and vigilant.

29 comments:

Montanagirl said...

They are truly a wonderful bird. I've seen them at Virginia Lake in Reno. Had such fun photographing them. Your photos are stunning.

Robin said...

Absolutely fabulous! Well done.
A very pretty bird. I've never one live, but your shots certainly do them justice!

Susan W. said...

More than magnificent from your lens. They are spectacular and splendiferous!

ShySongbird said...

What a beauty! Snowy is a very apt name :)

The photos of the Pelican and gull on the previous post were stunning too!

Katherine Thomas said...

These are beautiful. Most of us drive by and say, "Oh what pretty birds!" But you capture the moment in such a way that we can look at the photo and feel the exact emotion we would have felt at the site. Wow!

JKoenig said...

What an elegant bird! Don't you wonder how they can stay so spotlessly clean and white all the time? Your pictures are so amazing....Loved every one of them.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

What a stunner! I so much enjoy your up-close-and-personal photos of birds, Kelly. My camera isn't as good--but I can dream!

Out on the prairie said...

Beautiful photos and story.

Laure Ferlita said...

......"only a snowy egret can make catching a fish look sexy".....?!!!!! Thanks for the morning laugh!

They are beautiful and your images are gorgeous!

Roy said...

Great shots, Kelly! I love Snowies, and Gooseneck Cove is home to a sizeable population in the summer. I especially like to watch the Snowy Dance, when they skip and skitter though the shallow water stirring up the shrimp and small fish to make the fishing easier.

BirdingMaine said...

Fantastic photo series Kelly! Their beautiful plumes are striking and your images captured them wonderfully.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kelly, The Snowy Egret is amazing---and you captured him in the most perfect way.... Love your photos.

Hugs,
Betsy

Dave said...

Great photos Kelly!

Warren Baker said...

You've done really well capturing the Egret Kelly. It's sometimes hard to photograph an all white bird. Nice one!

HBFG said...

Beautiful birds and beautiful captures! :)

Robin Robinson said...

Fantabulous Snowy shots. I really like the head shots a lot.

Cindy said...

Beautiful close-ups; such gorgeous shots on all your latest posts!

rebeccainthewoods said...

I love their yellow feet. I wonder what evolutionary purpose they could possible serve?

Jayne said...

So beautifully captured Kelly. :c)

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Beautiful photos, Kelly. I alsmost felt I was there with you as you narrated the images. Lovely and relaxing. Thanks!

Appalachian Lady said...

Great photos of the egrets. I wonder how they're fairing in the Gulf.

The Early Birder said...

Hi Kelly. I've just caught up with all your Florida posts....what a fabulous collection of images. Of course the Egret is my favourite and like you I could sit and watch them all day long especially in such excellent surroundings. FAB.

Hilke Breder said...

Breathtaking pics, Kelly. Now I know why Victorian ladies liked to wear them on their heads! There would be none left today were it not for the prohibition against it around the turn of the century.

Elaine said...

Gorgeous shots of a gorgeous bird! You must have been thrilled to chance upon such a gift and be privileged to watch him as he went about his fishing. Love the topknot blowing in the wind in the first shot.

holdingmoments said...

These are stunning pictures Kelly, of a beautiful bird. Their beautiful plumes are like drifts of snow. Superb.

Chris said...

Wow what a truly beautiful post... This bird is gorgeous!! I've seen them In Chile and would like to see them again!

Rubén Rodríguez Olivares said...

Beautiful Photos. They are of high quality.
I really enjoyed your blog, I will follow him to Spain.
A greeting

Mary said...

Gorgeous birds! Wonderful shots.

E said...

Beautiful pics, Kelly, all great and with perfect timing. Many hugs, thanks for sharing.