Great Egret

This is a Great Egret in breeding plumage at Chincoteague NWR in Virginia. The breeding plumage for the Great Egret consists of long ornamental plumes, even longer down its back than its tail. Additionally, you can see that the lore (around its eye) is green -- it's usually a dark, dull yellow.

Great Egret populations dwindled around the turn of the century, when they were hunted for their long plumes. Now, their numbers are back and they are common all along the East Coast.

This was shot on a cold, overcast, and windy day. Overcast weather is generally good for shooting white birds, because there are no distracting shadows to screw things up. But the cold made this an uncomfortable shot to take, and the wind made it difficult to get a shot where the plumes were still and not blurred by motion.

LENS: 500/4 + 2x | FILM: Fuji Provia 100F | EXPOSURE: f/8 at 1/30" | DATE: 05/01

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