Reddish Egrets – A Rare Sight!
Reddish egrets are native to Florida, but they are quite rare to spot. You’ll often see the more common Great Egret and the Snowy Egret, but the Reddish Egret makes up less than 1% of the Egrets! If you’re ever lucky enough to see one of these magnificent birds during your vacation to Florida, don’t let it pass you by—it might not happen again! They have a red head and grey body, with dark grey wings. These birds can be found in wetlands, marshes, and ponds in Florida.
I was lucky enough to find them in my first visit to Florida. I went to Fort De Soto Park for Spoonbills but this Rare Sighting of Reddish Egret made my day.
In the southern United States, Reddish Egrets are found year-round from Texas to New Jersey. It is a bird of fresh and salt water wetlands, including mangrove swamps, estuaries, rivers, tidal creeks and bays.
They are omnivores, feeding on crustaceans, insects, fish, mollusks and frogs. They also feed on the eggs of turtles and other birds.
Reddish Egrets pursue fish vigorously through shallow saltwater environments. They chase fish on foot or plunge at them in flight, make shadows with their wings both to frighten, and herd them towards land. This conduct makes them successful in catching their prey even at significant distances.
Save the Reddish Egret
In the previous 10 years, their numbers have diminished by a disturbing pace of 30%. Researchers are endeavouring to sort out reasons causing their extinction, and how to assist them recuperate. The most common causes of the drop in population are habitat loss, climate change, and hunting. The good news is that there are many efforts being made to conserve these beautiful birds. There are some scientists who think that restoration of native wetlands could provide a safe haven for them to nest and raise chicks. There’s also a lot of research being done on why they are dying at such fast rate, as well as where they migrate when not nesting in Florida.
In order to help preserve this species, there are many conservation efforts being put into place, such as protecting the birds’ nesting areas and making sure that the species does not become extinct.
About Author: Pushpendra Matharu is a Wildlife Photographer based in Toronto, Canada.