The Great White Egret; Larger than some Smaller than others.

There has not been a hint of a breeze on the slough for the past several days, with cool overnight temperatures and warm afternoons its nice. There is a dozen Turkey Vultures across the water circling something far below, it peaks my curiosity but obviously not the Ranchers. He has a better view than I and I’m confident he see’s them, his entire investment is walking around that pasture; he knows what is going on at all times. Raising Cattle is like having a bunch of kids hanging around, they demand attention; but as long as they have water they will stay inside the fences.

A Snowy Egret showed up on the slough last week, it’s the first one I’ve seen in a long time. They are considerably smaller than the Great White Egret; however since the smaller bird appeared the other hasn’t been seen.

Egret hunting 12

It’s easy to see the size differential when compared between the two photos above. They are nearly in the same spot on the far side. The Snowy Egret stands 24 inches compared to the Great White Egrets 39 inches, a substantial difference. They inhabit the same hunting grounds while preying on the same critters.

The Great Blue Heron in comparison stands a whooping 46 inches. Seeing the Dinosaur in that huge birds face is quite easy.

The picture above is enlarged to enable seeing the prehistoric head, beak and face. They rule the Slough, being intolerant of others within their boundaries. The small Snowy Egret is greatly intimidated by the presence of Big Blue. The Heron upon seeing the smaller bird lifted into the air from that spot to swoop on it chasing the White bird down stream. He then returned to this exact spot and settled down.

Gull over the slough 17

It’s so territorial that when this Seagull showed up and began to fish Big Blue ran him off as well. I haven’t seen everything during my lifetime but that was the first time I saw that take place. I’ve discovered everyone on the Slough is peaceful with the exception of him.

The Snowy Egret has two easily distinguishable traits, the first is the tuft of feathers on the back of its head. It’s the old Alfalfa cow-lick we used to call them. The other is where the beak meets the head; it is outlined in either yellow or orange as seen in the image above. They are beautiful birds but subject to Chromatic influences due to the brilliantly white feathers in the direct sunlight.

Egret Landing

I had to add one more photo to equal an odd number, this may be the first time I posted seven examples. I prefer three, once in a blue moon five but never seven because it wears the reader out. I judge that from my reading, if I get to a fifth picture in a blog I begin to wonder if it’s ever going to end. At six I’m worn out then when seven makes it on stage I’m done. It may not be the same for everyone but it is for me and that’s what I gauge it on. While I’m at it I have read “how to blog” blogs insisting that the proper number of words is 2,000, that to me is about 1500 too many. It’s a bit frustrating to open a blog or news article that stretches on forever. I did that for a while, a minimum of 2,000, then I read one. It was like listening to a small airplane droning overhead against the wind; from then on 500 is the magic number. Which I exceeded on this one along with the picture count, my rules are fairly loose spun.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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