The snowy egret is a widely distributed bird species and known as Western Hemisphere wading bird. This bird is represented on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of North America as Egretta thula of class Aves. This bird of order Ciconiiformes is seldom found very far from the brackish water. This snowy egret is a fairly common breed along with the coast of North Carolina. The snowy egret bird is also described as “The most charming of all our marsh birds” as the snowy egret has some kind of definite affinity for salt water or brackish water and this is found very close to the beaches and marshes of the North American coastline. Rather than displaying its gorgeous breeding plumage , they always used to racing in pursuit of small fish in shallow water. They have an exquisite sight, with a gleaming plumage of white color. The jet black beak and legs and also bright yellow feet looks amazing. Some common names for this bird are Snowy Egret, Common Egret, Lesser Egret, Little Snowy.
These birds are medium sized and also they are all-white wading birds who have a “slight” appearance in comparison to some other wading birds.Their bill is black with a bright yellow coloured fleshy base and this yellow colour extends back to their lores and eyes. Legs seem to be black in adults whereas foot are bright yellow such as they are wearing gloves. Immature snowy egrets have greenish legs but sometimes they can have a yellow streak on the back side. During the breeding season adults mostly have prominent plumes on their shoulders, around neck, and on head.
Some common measures are as follows :-
Length: 22 to 26 inches.
Wingspan: 38 to 45 inches.
Weight : 13 to 15 ounces.
The male Snowy Egrets always fight for their breeding territories, or to choose nest sites, and they perform some noisy courtship displays to attract their mates(females). A group or ring of some other egrets usually gathers around a displaying male while he pumps his body up and down, tries to point his bill skyward, and then calls. He also performs some aerial displays that includes one that ends with him when dropping toward the ground while tumbling around. After getting paired, Snowy Egrets continue to defend the immediate area all around their nest by raising their crests and often giving rasping calls. Some of the nest predators of Snowy Egrets include raccoons, Barred Owls, Great Horned Owls, Fish Crows, American Crows, gray rat snakes, and American alligators. They are highly social for all year long. Snowy Egrets goes to search for food with gulls, terns, ibises, and other herons. They nest in colonies more like many other species which includes Great Egrets, Glossy Ibises, night-herons, Little Blue Herons, Roseate Spoonbills, Tricolored Herons and Cattle Egrets.
When the courtship occurs, males usually erect their plumes, most of them stretch their necks. They also point the bill skyward and then call.The most common nesting is colonial nesting that is , they will nest with other wading birds.Nests are mainly made up of twigs and sticks. They usually built the nests in trees or shrubs over water that are 10-20 feet above the ground.
Snowy egrets mainly forage in shallow water. They eat crustaceans, fish , mollusks and some small vertebrates like prawns. They remain motionless until they find any prey and wait for the prey. Then they shuffle their feet to stir up the prey.
Usually the breeding activity start to begin in the early spring season. After arriving at the breeding rounds, these birds try to defend a small part of breeding territory against so many other individuals. Soonly they begin the construction of nest. They lay three to five green-blue eggs in a crude stick nest. Sometimes its only a few feet away from another nest. For hatching more probably 3 weeks of incubation is required.
These birds are usually rare to find and not considered as pets but some people have a habit of keeping some pets like this to form a zoo at their place so they prefer to keep this. A proper research should be made to buy these kinds of birds.
The approximate range for this type of bird is around $80 to $100.
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