Tag Archives: Great Egret

Wading Bird Frenzy

Earlier this fall I mentioned that the water was being drained from the big rice field pond at Magnolia in preparation for burning the invasive cattails. Conditions to start the fire didn’t come together before the approach of a late season hurricane  and with the potential for damage to the dikes from a storm management decided to let the water back in.

This past week they decided to try again. One of the staff told me they hope to burn by the end of December. In the mean time, wading birds have gathered to take advantage of easy feeding in the shallow water.

Wading Bird Frenzy
Wading Bird Frenzy

The alligator ramp in the upper right in the next photo would normally have water up to the lower end.

Wading Bird Frenzy
Wading Bird Frenzy

The Great Egret in the center caught a tiny fish, and a leaf.

Wading Bird Frenzy
Wading Bird Frenzy

It was a grey day so I didn’t get much contrast with all the white birds, but it was a fun show.

Wading Bird Frenzy
Wading Bird Frenzy

Perry Pond, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston SC
December 4, 2022

Great Egret, Up and Away

I expected this Great Egret to fly as soon as I saw him nestled in the marsh grass, thinking I had startled him.

Great Egret in Marsh
Great Egret in Marsh

I watched, and waited, and waited. Then I looked away for a few seconds …

Great Egret Lifting Off From Marsh
Great Egret Lifting Off From Marsh

…and sure enough, lift off was happening, and away he went.

Great Egret Flying Over Marsh
Great Egret Flying Over Marsh

Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area, SC
October 14, 2022

Everyone Has A Spot

The Snowy Egret and the Spoonbill took a break from harassing each other while the Great Egret was doing his own thing.

The Spoonie Tree:
The Spoonie Tree: Snowy Egret Roseate Spoonbill and Great Egret, Alligators at the base

A closer look at the Alligators: it was warming up and they were looking for sunny spots out of the water.

Alligators Below the Spoonie Tree
Alligators Below the Spoonie Tree

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC
October 16, 2022

Move Along Great Egret

In another scene from dull Friday morning, a Great Blue Heron routed a Great Egret out of his spot.

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret
Great Blue Heron and Great Egret, Snowy Egret in the background

A Snowy Egret watched, unmoved.

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret
Great Blue Heron and Great Egret

While the Great Blue Heron executed a perfect landing.

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret
Great Blue Heron and Great Egret

The Great Egret let out a few squawks and went on his way.

Great Egret
Great Egret, Tricolored Heron tucked into the grass

The big pond, Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC
November 4, 2022

Dirty Great Egret Catching Lunch, 1

I very rarely see a dirty Great Egret and don’t know if this one is streaked with natural dirt or some kind of pollution. Whatever it was, he didn’t experience any interference with getting his breakfast.

Great Egret Catching A Fish
Great Egret Catching A Fish
Great Egret Catching A Fish
Great Egret Catching A Fish
Great Egret Catching A Fish
Great Egret Catching A Fish
Great Egret Catching A Fish
Great Egret Catching A Fish
Great Egret Catching A Fish
Great Egret Catching A Fish

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, SC
July 24, 2022

Great Egret Chick Pair, Prequel

After I posted Great Egret Chick Pair yesterday I remembered I had taken some pictures earlier this spring at their nest. They aren’t great images, but I thought interesting as part of yesterday’s story.

On April 29 the adult was laying on the nest, presumable incubating eggs. At that point based on previous years’ outcomes I didn’t have much hope for a productive nest.

Great Egret On Nest
Great Egret On Nest April 29

Then on May 17th I discovered the chicks had not only  hatched but grown enough to be visible.

Great Egret Chicks
Great Egret Chicks May 17

I’d say a week to ten days old as a guess.

Great Egret Chicks
Great Egret Chicks May 17

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
April 29 and May 17, 2022

Great Egret Chick Pair

Again this year a pair of Great Egrets attempted to raise a family in a pine bough just off the nature trail at Ravenswood Pond.

Great Egret Chicks
Great Egret Chicks

Different this year is that they have had success, at least so far. Two years ago the eggs were not viable and last year there were two or three chicks but they did not live long.

Great Egret Chicks
Great Egret Chicks, This bough hangs over the pond

Survival rate for chicks is pretty low, and looking at this flimsy nest you can easily identify a few dangers plus they have a number of predators.

Great Egret Chicks
Great Egret Chicks

In the mean-time, these two have some shade…

Great Egret Chick
Great Egret Chick

and they look well fed.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC
June 10, 2022