PRICELESS PIC: World's Most Famous Beach in Daytona perfect backdrop for snowy egret

Snowy Egret in Central Florida / Headline SurferPhoto by Steven Bibeault for Headline Surfer / This Snowy Egret was photographed near along the shoreline on Jan. 11, 2017, in Daytona Beach, Florida. At left is a map showing the terrain of the snowy egret, which is seen year-round along the Florida coastline.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTON BEACH, Fla. -- During the breeding season, adult Snowy Egrets, like the one featured in the scenic photograph taken here on the World's Most Famous Beach®, develop long, wispy feathers on their backs, necks, and heads.

Way back in the 1880s, these plumes were valued at $32 per ounce, which was twice the price of gold at the time. Plume-hunting for the fashion industry killed many Snowy Egrets and other birds until reforms were passed in the early20th  century. The recovery of shorebird populations through the work of concerned citizens was an early triumph and helped give birth to the conservation movement and what we know today as eco-tourism.

Among the most elegant of the herons, the slender Snowy Egret sets off immaculate white plumage with black legs and brilliant yellow feet. Those feet seem to play a role in stirring up or herding small aquatic animals as the egret forages.

Breeding Snowy Egrets grow filmy, curving plumes that once fetched astronomical prices in the fashion industry, endangering the species. Early conservationists rallied to protect egrets by the early twentieth century, and this species is once again a common sight in shallow coastal wetlands, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

FAST FACTS: Habitat
• Adult Snowy Egrets have greenish-yellow feet for most of the year, but at the height of the breeding season their feet take on a much richer, orange-yellow hue. The bare skin on their face also changes color, from yellow to reddish.
• The oldest Snowy Egret on record was at least 17 years, 7 months old. It was banded in Colorado in 1970 and found in Mexico in 1988.
• .Snowy Egrets nest in colonies on thick vegetation in isolated places—such as barrier islands, dredge-spoil islands, salt marsh islands, swamps, and marshes. They often change location from year to year. During the breeding season Snowy Egrets feed in estuaries, salt marshes, tidal channels, shallow bays, and mangroves.
Snowy Egrets winter in mangroves, saltwater lagoons, freshwater swamps, grassy ponds, and temporary pools, and forage on beaches, shallow reefs, and wet fields.
 
DID YOU KNOW?
Snowy Egrets sometimes mate with other heron species and produce hybrid offspring. They have been known to hybridize with Tricolored Herons, Little Blue Herons, and Cattle Egrets.
 

Brown pelican shown newar Intracoastal Waterway, Port Orange, Florida / Headline SurferSteve Bibeault / Headline SurferSince he lives near the Atlantic Ocean in greater Daytona Beach, amateur photographer Steve Bibeault enjoys taking pictures of scenic wildlife, especially birds. And he gets a big thrill out of seeing his scenic images showcased in Headline Surfer.

His favorite birds are the brown pelicans with their large wingspans, which they use to glide along the surf in search of fish below. 

You can order these and other images at https://www.facebook.com/Stevescellphone/ or email him: SteveBibeaultPhoto@gmail.com.

MULTIMEDIA:

 

YouTube download / video by Kim DeGiulio Goecke /

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area in Central Florida, via HeadlineSurfer.com. Specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with dozens of journalism-industry awards in print & digital mediums. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's pursuing a Master of Arts degree in New Media/Journalism (graduation in March 2018). Frederick earned his BA in Political Science/Public Admin. (concentration in Writing) from Central Connecticut State University, in 1984, where he recieved the President's Citation for "academic excellence & outstanding campus/community service." Prior to myriad duties as publisher/award-winning journalist of Headline Surfer, 2008-present; Frederick was city hall reporter for the Palatka (FL) Daily News, 2007-2008; city editor of the Taunton (MA) Daily Gazette, 2005-2006; cops & courts/legal affairs writer for the Daytona Beach News-Journal, 1996-2004; and cops & courts reporter for the Rockland (NY) Journal-News/Gannett Suburban Newspapers, 1989-1996.