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.
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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.

• 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.
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 or email him:



YouTube download / video by Kim DeGiulio Goecke /

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.