A reddish egret flies over the shallows near the mouth of Tampa Bay, Florida close to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
The rarest of the egrets, the reddish egret (egretta rufescens) can be found in the shallow coastal salt water lagoons and estuaries of the Gulf states, Mexico, Central America, the caribbean and the Bahamas. The largest populations of breeding pairs are curently along the coast of Texas.
They are very active foragers, often seen running, jumping and spinning, sometimes with wings outspread, in the pursuit of prey. They will try to herd them into groups to make them easier to catch. They feed on fish, frogs, crustaceans, insects and small animals preferring shallow mud flats, lagoons and saltwater estuaries.
They were almost hunted to extinction late 1800's and early 1900's for their plumes for the fashion industry. They have made somewhat of a comeback but are still very rare as the coastal marine habitat that they favor keeps shrinking bue to development along the coastlines.
August 16th, 2017
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