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."
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Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who spends her time exploring and learning about the unique history and nature in North East Ohio. She lives with her husband and cat in Wooster where she is also a family portrait and nature photographer as well as grows and cans her own vegetables. When she's not doing that, yoga and embroidery (not at the same time) are other things she enjoys.