Wading birds usually ignore each other when they feed, each one just going about his business. This young Reddish Egret did seem to be intimidated by the Wood Storks clacking their bills. Then he decided to do a Reddish Egret maneuver and flapped his wings.
He didn’t get the full dance move, but the closest Wood Stork took notice.
And did his own two-step.
The Reddish Egret retreated…
,,, Nothing to see! The Reddish Egret went back to hunting while a Snowy Egret gave a flap for good measure.
Rarely seen in South Carolina, Reddish Egrets are known for their lively dance across the water as they feed.
This Reddish Egret was much more reserved in his fishing maneuvers than the one I saw doing the jump moves. I didn’t see any air moves but he did perform the extended strut, wading at a fast pace for as much as a hundred feet, before turning.
I couldn’t see what was making him change his path; he just seemed to be on a mission to get from point A to point B.
When he did stop he raised one or both wings to shade the water looking for food.
Finally, a stab into the water…
…nothing! But I could really see his beautiful striped beak as he picked out his next prey.
Eventually he got a tiny fish, then started the strut over again.
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Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, 1/28/2018
One of the birds that we don’t have in South Carolina that my group was looking forward to seeing on our Florida trip was the Reddish Egret. This Egret is known for a bill that goes from black at the base to pink at the tip and fishing antics that include running, jumping and spinning.
We weren’t disappointed, and spotted one our first trip around Black Point Drive late the first afternoon. The light was low with no sun but his pink bill stood out.
We took the same route the next morning and found another, or maybe the same, Reddish Egret in the same mangrove clump.
That day was cloudy, too, so we didn’t see the full iridescence of the red feathers. He appeared to be scanning the water and I hoped to see the famous Reddish Egret dance, but he outlasted me as he just looked around.