The Great Egret is a great bird.  With a dagger attached to a head that has glaring eyes and distance from body as its other notable attributes, it is also a bird you don’t want to find sneaking up behind you in a dark alley at 3 o’ clock in the morning.  Fortunately, the Great Egrets in this post were observed in broad daylight at Cupsogue Beach County Park on the same day I spotted these skimmers and the largest prey that I saw an Ardea alba take was a relatively small fish.  Not that egrets don’t eat other things, as they are very catholic in their eating habits and will chow down on virtually any living creature that they can catch and swallow, from frogs to mice to lizards.

Most of the shots here were taken at dead low tide and before the sea breeze managed to push the hot air away, which means that the water was pretty still and smooth.  This was perfect for some photography though the bright sun on white birds meant that I had to stop down and increase shutter speed dramatically to avoid overexposure.  I think I did alright.  Enjoy!

click the picture above for a larger version

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.