Reddish Egret at Fort De Soto, Florida.
These birds are my favorites – they hunt in an animated way, and have such beautiful feathers. I especially like their head features, and the way they fan out.
I’ve seen these guys on the east coast at Merritt Island NWR. All the other ones I’ve seen are on the gulf side, at places including Ft Myers Beach, Fort De Soto, Tiger Tail Beach, Fred Howard Park and Ding Darling NWR. At Ding Darling I saw a white morph reddish. And once I saw a juvenile reddish egret at Merritt Island.
Since they’re so rare (~400 pairs in Florida per this) it seems special to get to see one.
The reddish egret (Egretta rufescens) is North America’s rarest heron with maybe 400 nesting pairs left in Florida. The estimated global population believed to be fewer than 7,000, with 2,000 pairs in the United States. (credit tbo.com)