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Gila's Place

A menagerie of eclectic things…

Out for a drive with mom and had the pleasure of watching a Great Egret enjoy a meal in a low spot.

There was pooling all over the water and I wasn’t sure what was causing it because it was in a place where fish surely cannot reach. After getting home and putting the picture on the PC I could see the bird was feasting on some of the largest tadpoles I have ever seen around here.

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From: https://birdwatchinghq.com/herons-in-illinois/

  • Large, white bird with long, black legs.
  • S-curved neck and a daggerlike yellow bill. Look for a greenish area between their eyes and the base of the bill.
  • While they fly, their neck is tucked in, and their long legs trail behind.

Appearance-wise, Great Egrets are the most stunning heron found in Illinois. These birds especially put on a show during breeding season when they grow long feathery plumes, called aigrettes, which are held up during courtship displays.

Great Egret Range Map

great egret range map

In fact, these aigrettes are so beautiful, Great Egrets were almost hunted to extinction in the 19th century because these feathers made such nice decorations on ladies’ hats. The National Audubon Society was actually formed in response to help protect these birds from being slaughtered. To this day, the Great Egret serves as the symbol for the organization.

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