The Great Egret, 03 March 2012

Ardea alba, the Snowy egret;
Brevard county, Florida (03 March 2012).

A simple set of shots for an otherwise chilly day in the temporal Here & Now. Featured here is a Great egret, Ardea alba, sporting its breeding colors (see the green in front of the eye?) at Merritt Island one March afternoon a few years back.

Great egrets are very similar to Great blue herons, Ardea herodias. Honestly, I’m not sure what’s up with “heron” vs. “egret” when it comes to herons, egrets, and their respective common names. Both the Great blue heron and the Great egret are two species of the same genus (Ardea). Meanwhile in the related genus Egretta, Egretta thula is the Snowy egret, and Egretta caerulea is the Little blue heron. So what’s the difference between herons and egrets when it comes to common names? Honestly, I’m not sure. Not a clue.

I’ll save solving that mystery of common nomenclature for another time. Right now, I just want to think about how awesome Merritt Island is in early spring. I wouldn’t mind trading places with this heron egret for a day. Bask in the spring sunshine and let my freak colors fly.

Alright, alright, alright.

Ardea alba, 03 March 2012

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