Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Reddish Egret

The Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) - also commonly referred to as Dickey's Egret or Reddish Heron. It is one of the rarest egrets in North America. This species can reach a length of approximately 27-32 inches (66.6-81.3 centimeters) with a wingspan of 46-48 inches (116.8-121.9 centimeters). The reddish egret has both a dark and white morph (variation in appearance).

Adult Reddish Egrets have two color morphs, a rare all-white morph and a darker bluish and reddish morph. The red or dark morph is bluish gray with rusty head and neck. It has a large dark bill with pale eyes. Its legs and feet are bluish. The white morph has all white plumage. When pairing up, males and females don't seem to pay attention to which morph their mate is.

The diet of the reddish egret primarily consists of small fish, insects, frogs and crustaceans. Common fish prey includes sailfin molly, sheepshead minnow, marsh killifish and goldspotted killifish. Reddish egrets have a very distinctive foraging behavior. They run after their prey and can appear to be “dancing” as they jump and weave back and forth with wings spread while hunting.

The birds favor coastal islands with mangroves, low bushes, or even prickly pear cacti, which may provide some protection from predators. They will also use man-made nesting spots such as dredge islands.

The Reddish Egret can be found on the Gulf Coast in Texas and some parts of Louisiana, as well as along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of southern Florida

It also occurs in Mexico, the Caribbean islands, the coast of northern South America and the West Indies.
Reddish Egret

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