Yesterday I said I ought to look up egrets to see, and be factual about, that behavior of theirs called ‘displaying’. What I found out made me think I’d create a post for them alone. And I’m glad I did because gloomy weather may keep me from being out taking pictures today, but I have lots and lots of egret pictures to work with.
It seems that in the late 1800s these lovely birds were endangered due to the fact that their feathers had become much desired in the fashion industry. But early conservationists were able to protect them, and this is how they became the symbol of the National Audubon Society. Did you know that? I didn’t.
So it seems they don’t reproduce until they are 2-3 years old, and the males select the nesting site, sometimes alone but often in colonies. At first he drives off other birds, but in the close quarters in which I see them I’ll have to take Wikipedia’s word for it for that information. And then he ‘displays’, fluffing, and stretching, and bowing, and hopefully finding a mate. They both feed their young by regurgitation, there are some details I could live without, but it’s nice to know that the males do their part. I had noticed that the birds I was seeing who were displaying did seem to be alone. Well, as alone as you can be in that situation. And if they are still trying to attract mates then it seems that the rookery will be a stop of mine for a while yet. Other photographers I know have beautiful sunrise settings right in their back pocket, so to speak. This rookery is my very own ‘back-pocket’ opportunity, and that’s a good thing.
I checked back to see when I first saw the eggs this year, and it was 17 days ago. Incubation is 23 to 26 days and I have no idea when those eggs were laid. I’m trying not to hold my breath in anticipation of the blessed event(s), but I so hope that my visitor will get to see this place in full swing. It really is a sight to see.