The Beautiful Snowy Egrets

What: Snowy Egret

Where: Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey

When: Spring

How: Photographers- telephoto lens with a fast shutter capable camera.

Rating: Kids & Family Education, Photographers, Wildlife Enthusiasts


One of the most beautiful birds, Snowy Egret belongs to the heron family.  This is a medium-sized, totally white bird having a slim black bill and long black legs with yellow feet.

The male and the female have a similar appearance.

The juveniles are similar to the adults in appearance, except for a green or yellow line that runs down the back of the legs, and a paler base of the bill.

Did You Know?

  • There was a time when the plumes of Snowy Egrets were in great demand for making women’s hats, these poor birds were hunted and killed at such a rate that their population started decreasing.
  • This specie is now protected in the United States by law, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Thanks to the efforts, the population is slowly recovering.
  • Interesting Fact: A mating pair of snowy egrets cannot recognize each other except at the nest, where the returning egret performs a greeting ritual to avoid being attacked as an intruder.
  • During breeding season, the adult birds develop long, curved plumes called aigrettes, on their back, neck, and breast. The silky plumes that appear as a crest, lend a ‘shaggy’ effect to the bird.
  • In the shallow areas of ponds and marshes, snowy egrets use one foot to stir up the bottom of the water, flushing prey into view.
  • The breeding season is during spring, and spans from March to April.





About the Author

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