Feathers On Friday: Snowy Egret Struts On By

Snowy Egret is a regular visitor to our backyard. He’s usually on a food-finding mission and woe betide any unsuspecting frogs or lizards who happen to catch his observant eyes. He makes short shrift of them, grabbing them mercilessly in his beak and swallowing them whole, never to be seen again. He is distinguishable from the Great Egret by his bright yellow feet, plus he’s somewhat smaller.

In the late nineteenth century, this majestic bird was hunted for its soft, pure-white breeding feathers which were used to adorn women’s hats. These much sought after plumes sold for thirty two dollars per ounce, twice the price of gold at that time. This practice almost led to their extinction. Thankfully, they and many other birds are now protected by the ‘Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918’ which makes it unlawful to hunt, capture or sell nearly 1,100 birds listed in the treaty.

Wishing you all a splendid weekend. We are expecting 30 C today, so I think I’ll stay indoors and play my piano.

67 comments on “Feathers On Friday: Snowy Egret Struts On By

  1. Very good shot, Sylvia.
    I’m glad that short-sighted people didn’t wipe out these sharp-dressed birds.

    It’s pretty cool here today . . . but nothing like the rest of the country so I won’t complain. πŸ˜€

  2. What a beautiful bird, how does he keep himself so snowy clean? When we stayed in Cape Town, there were some lovely houses up on the hill behind us (Tamboerskloof) and they apparently were built by wealthy Ostrich farmers in the old days when the feathers of the ostriches were in big demand. Luckily the ostriches survived the fashion of the time!

    • Yes, it’s always a wonder to me how water birds manage to keep themselves so perfectly groomed. Ostrich feathers must have been quite expensive too. I’m glad they also survived the craze for fancy hats.

  3. I love your β€œFeathers on Friday” posts, Sylvia. You have the most elegant friends who visit your backyard. Snowy Egret is a brilliant strutter. As I read further, Maya Angelou’s words came to me: β€œDo the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” I am glad that people were committed to the preservation of these magnificent winged creatures.

  4. Such a beautiful bird. Terrible to think the species almost came to extinction for hats! Do the yellow feet serve a particular purpose?
    On another note I wanted to let you know that on your gravatar the link to your blog is not working.

    • Thanks, Sue. Yes, I’m sure the yellow feet have a purpose. I read that the bright colour may attract fish or other hapless victims to come closer. πŸ˜… I have absolutely no idea about my avatar, but thanks for letting me know. 😘

  5. I did not know about this gracious bird was at one point was hunted to nearly extinction. I noticed this feature looks so smooth and no wonder that was the reason. I am glad that they are projected now.

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