Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Monday, June 30, 2008

Great Egret and Great Blue Heron – A Somewhat Odd Couple Traveling Together

Late this morning, in a fresh-blue sky with high cottony white clouds and wind from the northwest, I saw a Great Blue Heron and a Great Egret flying close together. The Heron seemed to be following the Egret, which veered away once, as if the larger bird had come too close or was annoying. The Great Egret’s white plumage, black legs and long gold bill shined in the sunlight, and it looked much smaller, lighter and more graceful than the Great Blue Heron. The Egret stretched out its wings and began to circle and soar higher, rising like a feather in the wind and leaving the Heron behind. But the Heron persisted, circling and climbing more slowly, laboriously, wings pumping, following in the same direction. The Egret rose very high and then sailed off swiftly to the northeast, and the Heron followed.


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