|The orange bill and black legs are key identifying features. Notice how the long neck us held in an 'S" shape in flight while the legs are held straight back.|
This particular bird probably did not breed in The Valley. It likely flew in from along the coast or down from Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge to the north of Cayuga Lake. Now that nestlings have fledged, this is the time of year when herons as well as shorebirds are on the move. Since the great egret is the first non-breeding bird I've observed here this Summer, its visit marks the early cusp of the fall migration season. What great joy! There is no telling what interesting bird-life will show up in days and weeks to come, especially since this area (with the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chemung Rivers) creates a natural migration corridor.
I'm thankful for my wild neighbor the great egret, I'm thankful for the people with whom I shared this experience, and I'm thankful that the Fall migration has begun!
|A typical spot for a great egret; at the edge of the water.|
|The great egret perched atop a pine tree for a little while.|
|There's an egret in the neighborhood. Can you see it in this photo?|