August 24th I decided to visit the Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area, upon reaching the end of the drive I was greeted with this view! Upon counting, I was able to clearly identify 14 individual Great Egrets wading, fishing, and flying about this waterway. Up until last year I had never seen one in the wild (from what I can recall) so to come upon a scene with so many was a spectacular treat!
About the Great Egret:
"Slightly smaller and more svelte than a Great Blue Heron, these are still large birds with impressive wingspans. They hunt in classic heron fashion, standing immobile or wading through wetlands to capture fish with a deadly jab of their yellow bill. Great Egrets were hunted nearly to extinction for their plumes in the late nineteenth century, sparking conservation movements and some of the first laws to protect birds." They are migratory, visiting Ohio only while cruising through, this group must have been flying together and found the shallow waters of the Funk Bottoms to be ideal for fishing.
"If you live outside of the species’ breeding range, you may still see Great Egrets in late summer as they move about widely before heading to their wintering grounds."
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.