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Date: 28 July 2018. Isis, a  Snowy Egret.

janice142

It all began with a juvenile night heron. Later many herons joined in the feeding fracas.  A new visitor is Isis. She's a snowy egret. I have become quite fond of her too. She never bangs her beak on my hatch. Instead she squawks until I deliver hotdogs.
 

This is Isis:

Isis is a snowy egret. She has black legs and bright yellow feet.


Snowy egrets are smaller herons. They look delicate. I have seen them along this coast frequently.

There is a snowy egret hiding under the dock.
 

The range of these fish hunters is extensive. SNOWY EGRETS are found along the seaboard, inland lakes and rivers.

The SNOWY EGRET puffs out feathers when establishing dominance.
 

Quite often you will see these birds wading along a shoreline. They are very quick. When I toss the hotdogs wafers at the snowy egrets, I notice they catch the pieces in mid-flight. My herons wait until the hotdog treat is on the deck.



 

Snowy egrets snap their beak when catching food. You can hear a definite click. Very seldom does *Isis miss when I throw the hotdog wafers.

*Isis is her name because she acts a bit regal. As there are two that visit Seaweed, both share the same name. I do not know how to determine genders.


SNOWY EGRET


I hold a piece of hotdog between my finger and thumb. Isis will delicately take it.

The snowy egret has never poked my finger. She is very precise.


I feed two egrets semi-regularly. There are two though I cannot recognize which is which.
The only reason I know there are two is because occasionally both show up. Then the duo get all huffy.


I was concerned about feeding the birds too much. I want them to always be able to fish for themselves. The snowy egrets do not rely on me for their main food source.
 

Generally I feed Isis on my transom. She will fly down to the swim platform and wash her food. I believe Isis is arranging the hotdog for easier swallowing. I have noticed bits of the 'dog will wash off and sink.

Suddenly she will crouch. Isis stares intently at the water. Sometimes I will be able to see a fish down there too. Then BLINK.
 

She's caught a fish in her beak. Isis is an amazing fisherman. She is QUICK!!!

 

Snowy egrets will submerge their entire head
and neck in the water when catching their prey.


Isis walked over and dipped her beak in the water.

She was attempting to straighten out the fish for a "down the hatch" moment.
The fish was about 2 1/2" long and quite fat too. I did not think Isis could eat such a large fish.


Though I know this is nature, I admit I was hoping the fish would escape. It did so. That fish bounced twice on the water before it plunged beneath the surface. The escapee dove to freedom beneath the mangrove.

I was happy for that little fish.
 

As for the snowy egrets that visit, I have started cutting the hotdog pieces thinner. For her I slice them 1/8" thick. Night herons get 1/4" thick hotdog wafers. Sometimes I will take a larger thicker piece and break it into halves for Isis. Those seem easier for the snowy egrets to swallow.
 

 

This is Bruce the Night Heron
 

Mostly I feed a flock of night herons. Snowy egrets are relatively new to the group. Isis is particularly friendly. She normally stands where Bruce is in this photograph. He has just chased her off.
 

The night herons do get food aggressive. I told you about that tale of woe in the Meet the Culprit (styptic) article. 

 


Isis is a neat bird. I enjoy watching her.

Thanks for reading.
 

I'd love to hear what wild critters you watch.
And, do you feed any of the wildlife in your vicinity?

COMMENTS:
 

2018

Category: Wild Things,

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