Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An Invitation to the Dance

There were more Snowy Egrets in the marsh pond on Saturday than any day so far this year. There were half a dozen visible when I first arrived and more kept appearing from deeper in the marsh. There is another inaccessible open area back there that can be seen on a Google Earth map where they hang out unseen by people.

While the Snowies were initially hunting, more and more kept filtering back into this one small cove near the back of the pond. There, they weren't fishing but appeared to be simply standing around looking at one another.

I didn't see any movements that I would consider courtship displays, but there was a lot of displays of feathers (the breeding aigrettes, as they are called) by some of the birds.

Some were also quite vocal, which amounted to loud single-note squawks. All the birds appear to have the long breeding feathers, so I assume the females are also wearing them. There doesn't seem to be any obvious way to distinguish between sexes.

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