April 06, 2021

E - Egrets

Beautiful egrets (and herons too) are very common sights in Florida. 

We have a silly Great Egret who is a frequent visitor in our back yard. If we aren't on the porch he will walk right up to our sliding glass door and stretch his neck full length to look around to see what's going on inside the house. He stands almost as tall as I am when he's fully stretched out. He has startled me more than a few times. Of course we've named him Stretch, what else would we call him?

Stretch at Sunset

I could never tell the difference between a Great White Heron and a Great Egret. I've read that you can tell by a slight difference in their beak, others said by the way their neck curves, but I just couldn't see the difference no matter how hard I tried. I just recently read that Great White Herons have light colored legs, Great Egrets have black legs. Is it really possible it was really that easy to identify them all along?! Birding friends please verify!

More Florida fun on the way tomorrow for the A to Z Challenge.

90 comments:

  1. How wonderful to be visited by such a fabulous white egret, so beautiful! Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

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  2. That would take some getting used to having an Egret looking in my door...lol
    I've never been good at identifying birds so I would have missed an easy thing like that too.

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    1. They've always looked identical to me!

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  3. What an amazing visitor. And yes, captain google confirms that the egrets do have darker legs - which is an easy 'tell'.

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    1. Too easy lol. I can't believe I just finally found that out!

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  4. Yes, I am pretty SURE HERONS have yellow legs. This is an egret

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    1. I knew Stretch was a egret because I've posted a photo of him before and called him a great white heron, you told me then he was an egret lol! Is the leg color how you tell them apart or do you look for something else?

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    2. Mostly leg color. All heron and egrets. Sometimes beak color. When I first started birding, egrets were a bit confusing. I tried back then to "associate" with something to help me remember...for instance: don't eat yellow snow (snowy egret & their yellow feet. πŸ€ͺ😁😁πŸ€ͺ)

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    3. Knowing me I would probably just confuse myself with what I tried to associate things with lol.

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  5. Lucky you!!! I wish there were a silly egret visiting my backyard!! Absolutely beautiful and elegant!

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    1. He is gorgeous but definitely very silly too lol!

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  6. Hello,
    Great shot of the Egret, it is a nice visitor. Take care, have a happy day!

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    1. Thanks Eileen, a happy day to you too!

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  7. i never even thought about it, i may have been calling a heron and egret or vice versa. mostly i say look a that silly bird out there in the yard poised waiting waiting waiting to dive on a frog or lizard... who knows, but i think it is an egret

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    1. Stretch is an egret. Aren't they funny when they are on the hunt? When they are ready to move in on something they shake their little bird butts lol!

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  8. Love how your bird friend comes to see how you’re doing!

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  9. I did not realize they got that big. I think it would rather startle me to see something that big staring in my windows. lol

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    1. They look like they are at least three times bigger when they stretch out!

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  10. Your life sounds like a Disney movie: first a dolphin friend, and now an egret buddy. Perhaps they both are former employees from that place in Orlando, LOL.

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    1. LOL, one of my friends says I'm secretly a Disney princess, and my kids all call me Mrs. Doolittle. Beggar and Stretch aren't the only ones either, I have a Black Crowned Night Heron named Bird, Mr. Tur-tell that follows me around the yard. There are also racoons, bunnies, and countless cardinals and blue jays that hang around. Oh and how could I forget my four wild turkeys too!

      I'll probably be one of those old ladies sitting on the park bench with pigeons landing all over me lol!

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  11. Never a dull moment around your house with the wildlife coming and going. Thanks for sharing the lovely photo of the egret. Also learned something new again today.'
    Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Lots and lots of wildlife and I love it! Glad you learned something new today. that's always a good thing! :)

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  12. What a gorgeous bird, Martha! So cool that he hangs around in your yard, too.
    Blessings!

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    1. He is a beauty isn't he?! I love having all my little wild friends around. :)

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  13. I wouldn't want to tangle with that sharp pointy beak!

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    1. He could definitely do some severe damage if he wanted to!

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  14. How wonderful you have one for a frequent visitor, I saw lots of them when we visited Florida, It's a wonder they aren't the state bird.

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    1. I'm kind of surprised too, it would be fitting. Instead our state bird is the Mocking Bird, they are some entertaining birds too.

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  15. How wonderful you have one for a frequent visitor, I saw lots of them when we visited Florida, It's a wonder they aren't the state bird.

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  16. You sure live in a beautiful place Martha!

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    1. Thanks Christine, I have to agree! :)

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  17. They are such beautiful birds!

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  18. We have a local blue heron we call Freddy, they are such fun to watch! He has scared me several times by perching on the railing right by the glass sliding door, and also loves to drink the pool water and sometimes he even goes down the steps in the shallow end! Bad Freddy!

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    1. That's funny that he goes in the pool! Is Freddy the one who was MIA on your last visit to the beach house? I sure hope he's ok!

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  19. The only thing I miss about selling the lake place is the egrets and herons. They are such magnificent birds.

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  20. That would be a wonderful (but certainly startling) sight. I love birds, except geese which I'm scared of. They like to chase me and I'm not a fan.

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    1. It can definitely be startling! The geese sound like this little group of wild turkeys we have in our neighborhood. I see them chasing people all the time, it cracks me up. Of course I wouldn't find it so funny if it was me they were chasing!

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  21. Beautiful! When I lived on the top floor of a Tarpon Springs condo, we had a couple regulars who'd land on the balcony and wait for their daily hot dog.

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    1. They do like their hot dogs, but I never feed them since finding out just how bad it is for them and also how dangerous they can be when they lose their fear of humans. I'm not a big fan of the idea of getting my eyes pecked out someday!

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  22. STRETCH :D I love it! FUNNY, I was always the same way with not being able to see the difference and a birding friend recently told me that legs and beaks are often the tell alls of the bird world. We get an obviously northern version of these here on the pond - they are SOOOOO beautiful. I often sit for long periods of time just waiting for them to change position so I can capture them in flight.

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    1. Thanks Tamy. They really are beautiful, I can just sit and watch them like that too.

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  23. Stretch is quite definitely the perfect name for your bird friend. I wonder if he would like some sardines or a can of tuna fish? Ha ha. We had a racoon visit our bird feeders the other night... and all this time I've been blaming the squirrels. Florida would be a fun place to live. Maybe that will be on my retirement list.
    Cheers,
    Crackerberries

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    1. I'm quite sure he is looking for food. I wouldn't think he'd just be nosey lol. Poor squirrels getting the blame for invading the feeders, they would never do such a thing ;)

      Florida really does have so much to offer, but it is miserably hot in the summer. That's our stay indoors time of year.

      Have a great day, cheers!

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  24. Interesting white bird, and rather regal looking.....

    πŸ”†πŸŒŸπŸŒΌπŸ’›πŸŒΌπŸŒŸπŸ”†

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  25. How lovely! Lucky you with both Stretch and Bird hanging around your yard and looking out for you! :)

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    1. I love having them both but Stretch is just a visitor, he isn't around nearly as much as Bird is.

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  26. we have a blue heron that lives around here somewhere and I feel so lucky when I see him/her. I have never seen an egret up here, yet.

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    1. Herons and egrets are both always so nice to see. They are gorgeous birds.

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  27. Your house must be interesting for these characters to show up for a visit. Love Stretch's name, it's so appropriate. :)

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    1. Thanks Bill. I don't think it's anything special about my yard, probably just because we are so close to the beach and bay.

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  28. Wow, you are so lucky!!! I have never heard of a wild bird doing this. I have trouble teling the difference as well.

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    1. Someone has probably been feeding him. In my old neighborhood there was a family of herons the lady across the street always fed. They would stand outside her front window and peck at it squawking like crazy! They can be fearless and very bold birds.

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  29. Egrets are birds I have seen. I don't know what kind, but some are big. I saw one catch a gopher once. It swallowed it down, it was kind of icky seeing the bulge, knowing it was a gopher.

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    1. Yeah, that's pretty gross lol. The worst I've seen was a frog and I saw one carrying a snake in his beak but thankfully I didn't witness it any further than that.

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  30. Those are relly pretty birds but I wouldn't mess with that beak!

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    1. He could definitely do some damage with that thing if he wanted to!

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  31. Nosey bird, isn't he?

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  32. I love that you name your critters, too! He's a beauty! I haven't seen one here yet -- probably too early -- so I'm extra glad you posted this one!

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    1. Of course, they have to have names! I hope they will be there to visit soon too. :)

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  33. There's so many things a bout Florida that remind me of Goa. We're so used to seeing egrets riding on the backs of the water buffalo out in the paddy fields, such elegant creatures! x

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    1. They really are Vix. I can't wait until you can travel again so I can see your adventures!

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  34. How wonderful that your Egret pal likes to come visit you up close! That is really funny! We have some Great White Egrets (I think) who come to our pond frequently. I never paid any attention to their legs before...so now I will be watching to see what color they are. I do have pictures, so I should go back and check the legs so I will know for sure from now on. Thank you for the information. I love this post!

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    1. Thanks Pamela. He's one nosey egret lol. I'm so glad I can tell the difference now too!

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  35. Stretch sounds like a perfect name for him. :) Love how he visits and peeks in the window.

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    1. Thanks, it's so cute but sure does scare me when I'm not expecting it!

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    2. Who knew we'd have a cow looking in our window the next day after reading about your egret!! :)

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    3. Right?! It was so funny :D

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  36. The White Egret is a magnificent bird, and the fact that you see them often in your back yard is amazing. I have only seen them a couple times in my life, and it was really a blessing. They are graceful, beautiful birds. I love white animals and birds in general. Is this a photo of Stretch, or is it another bird? You really chose a great subject for your letter E Challenge, Martha.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Thanks Sheri. All the beautiful birds is one benefit of living on the water and so close to the beach. This is Stretch in the photo, he's gorgeous isn't he?!

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  37. That's a very nice photograph.
    The name Stretch is very suitable :)

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan. I had a very photogenic model! :)

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  38. I have been living my life with no egrets. Did someone else do this in the comments? I couldn't resist the pun. Stretch looks like a nice visitor to have. We just get mangy, disease-infested squirrels.

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    1. Leave it to you lol, of course nobody else did that! Stretch is very cool and we also have squirrels, but we don't have sheep. I kind of wish we did except I'd have to consult you for tips on how to get along with them.

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  39. What a beautiful bird! You are blessed with the wildlife around you.

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    1. Thanks Mari. I feel blessed indeed!

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  40. I learned something today! Now I have to look through old photos I took in Florida. Lovely bird!!

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    1. I can't believe it's been that easy all along, I've been struggling with identification for years lol!

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  41. What a neat visitor you have!

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    1. Thanks Rose, he's a very nosey boy lol.

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  42. I love egrets. I see them sometimes when out walking my dog in the mornings, mostly in the canal nearby. I prefer seeing them in the irrigation canals between here and the city where I grew up. Even though it's still a man made place to see them, it feels a bit wilder.

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    1. They are so beautiful no matter where we can spot them!

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