herons

Oh, Those Golden Slippers!

The yellow "slippers" on the snowy egrets set them apart from other herons like the great egret. I saw my first snowy egrets in July 2015 at Marine Park in Brooklyn, and spent much of the summer of 2017 watching these beautiful birds with great personalities at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, Wolfe's Pond and Lemon Creek Park on Staten Island, Marine Park, and Pelham Bay Park, near Orchard Beach, in the Bronx.

Snowy egret, Wolfe's Pond, Staten Island, September 1, 2017

Snowy egret, Wolfe's Pond, Staten Island, September 1, 2017

Snowy egret, October 19, 2017, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Snowy egret, October 19, 2017, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

These beautiful birds were so much fun to film. I have posted two videos in the Filming the Feathers series, the first covering July 25, 2015, to September 21, 2017, and Part II from September 29 to October 21, 2017. You can watch them catch and eat fish, and run around, sometimes looking as if they haven't a clue where they're going!

I took loads of pictures of these photogenic herons. Here are some taken in 2017, and you can see more on the Snowy Egrets page.

A Little (Not) Blue Heron

When they are youngsters, little blue herons (Egretta caerulea) look a lot like egrets. When I saw this bird at Staten Island's Mount Loretto Unique Area in August, at first I thought the bird might be a great egret or a snowy egret. But the leg color wasn't right, nor was the bill color. Fortunately, some birders at the pond told me it was a little blue heron. Who could guess that this white-feathered youngster will sport blue-gray plumage when the bird becomes an adult. I understand that this is the only heron species that undergoes such a drastic change.

Juvenile little blue heron, Mount Loretto Unique Area, August 27

Juvenile little blue heron, Mount Loretto Unique Area, August 27

Juvenile little blue heron, August 11

Juvenile little blue heron, August 11

The Filming the Feathers video was shot August 11, 20, 27 and September 1, and features the little heron eating fish, insects and a big frog. I set it to guitar waltzes by Agustin Barrios Mangore, performed by Christian Silva Gonçalves and Tariq Harb, and obtained from MusOpen.org, a royalty-free music source.

I went to Staten Island a few times after September 1, but didn't see the young little blue heron again. These photos are from August 11, 27 and September 1. You can see more photos on the Little Blue Heron page.