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Snowy Egrets feeding under the clouds

Posted on Sep 25, 2014

I took these photos earlier in the week while conducting surveys in coastal Connecticut for our work in the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds. It was a warm and cloudy day with calm but soon to be increasing winds ahead of a cold front. The southerly flow made for a quieter morning in terms of passerine migrants but these feeding Snowy Egrets (Egretta thula) kept me busy.

Snowy Egret 0200 RTPI

Snowy Egret 0234 RTPI

Snowy Egret reflection Stratford 0180 RTPI

The Snowy Egret is listed as “threatened” under the Connecticut Endangered Species Act. While we as a society no longer hunt birds like these beautiful long-legged waders to adorn our clothing with their feathers they are still recovering even today from the enormous impact of the deadly fashion fad. They are also at risk due to loss of breeding habitat, disturbances from humans, changes in their prey population and more. Monitoring their migratory populations in Connecticut in the spring and the fall as well as assisting the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environment Protection during nesting season helps to allow the species to flourish. Continued stewardship and education of beachgoers and boaters, protection of offshore islands and wetlands and restoration of functional habitat minus pollutants and threats are all of vital importance as well.

Snowy Egret Stratford reflection 0223 RTPI

Snowy Egrets Stratford 0214 RTPI

Snowy Egrets Stratford 0245 RTPI

Even when they were being killed for a fancy hat Snowy Egrets were clearly widely respected and admired for their gorgeous plumage. Fostering a similar but safe appreciation through art, conservation and education is part of our mission today.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator