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Great Egret

Great Egret
Photo Information
Copyright: Alli Hemingway (annagrace) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 527 W: 18 N: 851] (2996)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-06-12
Categories: Birds
Camera: Olympus C4000Z
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2005-06-14 12:51
Viewed: 3594
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Great Egret (Ardea alba), also known as the Great White Egret, White Heron, or Common Egret, is a wading egret, found in most of the tropical and warmer temperate parts of the world, although it is very local in southern Europe and Asia. It should not be confused with the Great White Heron, which is a white morph of the Great Blue Heron found in Florida.

The Great White Egret is a large bird, only slightly smaller than the Great Blue or Grey Herons. Its wing span can be greater than 50 inches. It has all white plumage. Apart from size, it can be distinguished from other white egrets by its yellow bill and black legs and feet. It also has a slow flight, with its neck retracted. This is characteristic of herons and bitterns, and distinguishes them from storks, cranes and spoonbills, which extend their necks.

It feeds in shallow water or drier habitats, spearing fish, frogs or insects with its long, sharp bill. It will often wait motionless for prey, or slowly stalk its victim. It is a conspicuous species, usually easily seen.

The Great Egret is partially migratory, with northern hemisphere birds moving south from areas with cold winters. It breeds in colonies in trees close to large lakes with reed beds or other extensive wetlands. It builds a bulky stick nest. The call at breeding colonies is a loud croaking "krrrk ".

Although generally a very successful species with an massive and expanding range, the Great Egret is highly endangered in New Zealand, where it is known as Kotuku [1] (http://www.nzbirds.com/Kotuku.html), [2] (http://www.wellingtonzoo.com/animals/animals/natives/kotuku.html). In North America, large numbers of Great Egrets were killed around the end of the 19th century so that their plumes could be used to decorate hats. Numbers have since recovered as a result of conservation measures. Its range has expanded as far north as southern Canada. However, in some parts of the southern United States, its numbers have declined due to habitat loss. This bird has been chosen as the symbol of the National Audubon Society, which was formed in part to prevent birds from being killed for their feathers. (Wikepedia.com)

I was able to get very close to the bird before I spooked it. It spooked me too when it took off, and I'm posting a photo of that in a workshop. I wasn't able to keep it in frame very well but you can get an idea of the wingspan.

sAner, scottevers7 has marked this note useful
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To sAner: Back to civilization!annagrace 1 06-14 13:50
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Alli,
Nicely captured, this is a lovely bird. Good POV, a bit OE.
I'd be spooked by this bird too.
Thanks for posting.

Very beautiful bird Alli! Amazing capture that you got that close. Super lighting and colors, the reflections in the water are lovely. Well done.

Hi Alli,

A nice shot on this Great White Egret. You were really able to get close on this one. Nice capture..


  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-06-15 6:21]
  • [+]

Hello Alli,

A beautiful egret! Pose of the bird is great and POV is very good too. Compositionwise I would have chosen to move the camera a little bit so you could have included the legs. Anyway, well done & TFS!


Nice shot, but a little too close a larger framing would have been better IMO.
Well done.

Yes it's a chance you got so close to it. I know it is not easy to approach. You did well in the circumstances. Nice shot Alli.
I was in Charleston 2 months ago. What a lovely place.
My great egret

Very good shot. Great POV and very good details.

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