For the Chief, and anyone who wants a quick and easy reference on how to tell the difference between the Snowy and Great Egrets, both white and both often times found feeding in the marsh and tide pools together. The Great Egret is greater in size and has a bright yellow bill, with black legs and black feet. The smaller Snowy Egret has the opposite markings, with unmistakeable cadmium yellow feet and a black bill.
Snowy Egret and Great Egret
In the above photo taken this morning, the egrets were too far away for my camera’s lens to get a really clear picture however, when cropped, you can see a side-by-side comparison. The Snowy Egret, with black bill and bright yellow feet, is flying in the background and the Great Egret, with black feet and yellow bill, is perched.
On a gorgeous dawn this past season I filmed an epic battle between two, possibly three, Great Egrets at the Good Harbor Beach marsh. The battle lasted nearly ten minutes with the defending egret aggressively flying lower and beneath the intruder, preventing it from landing anywhere on the marsh.
Great Egrets have interesting breeding behavior in that the male selects the nesting site and builds a platform nest of sticks and twigs in a tree, shrub, or on the ground near a marsh, prior to selecting a mate. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks, and both male and female vigorously defend the nesting territory. Perhaps that is what I had observed, a male and/or female defending their nesting site.
The Good Harbor Beach victor first surveyed the marsh from his perch on the adjacent cottage and, after determining his foe was defeated, swooped to the tide pool below to feed peaceably alonsgide the Great Blue Heron.
I had the unexpected pleasure of finding some Snowy Egrets, which are a threatened species, while I was killing some time in Ipswich last week. One male was vying for the attention of 2 females. He was putting on quite a show. I also had the good fortune to encounter 8 Lady Slippers, an endangered species, while hiking in So. Hamilton. I did not have my tripod with me to get super clean shots, but thought they were worth sharing.
Editor’s Note from Joey-
When the person who named the Lady Slipper The Lady Slipper thought to themselves- “Hmmm what shall I call this magnificent flower?” and then came up with “Lady Slipper” I’m trying to figure out how they didn’t name it a Lady Vagina.
Lady Slipper… Really?
When you look at it can you honestly tell me that looks more like a slipper than a a vajajay?
That thing’s got Lady Vagina written all over it. Like you know how the term white rice perfectly describes white rice? That’s the way I feel about the Lady Vagina. It’s misleading to name it a Lady Slipper- Borderline criminal actually. False advertising 101.
In fact I think we ought to start a campaign to have the flower renamed so people don’t get confused. It’s only right.