The Great Egret
This Egret stays close to its youngsters, while keeping a watch out for any predators that might be around (there were alligators in these ponds!)
A very large heron with a wingspan of up to 67 inches! Males and females are identical in appearance. Widely distributed, this egret has four subspecies that can be found in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Southern Europe.
Their diet consists of mostly fish, small mammals and frogs. They feed mainly in shallow water, spearing their prey with their long, sharp bill. The Egret will wait motionless for their prey, waiting for it to come within striking distance.
They will build their nests in trees close to water, with other Great Egret nests around forming a colony.
In May of 2012, the first pair to nest in the UK were found at the Shapwick heath Nature Reserve in Somerset. Seven nests were found in 2017, resulting in 17 feledlings!
Around the end of the 19th century in North America there were many Great Egrets killed for their plumes, these were used to decorate hats! Luckily due to conservation measures the Egrets have made a comeback!