More information about Snowy Egrets
Physical description:
  • Height:  20-27 inches (51-68 cm)
  • Wingspan:  38 inches
  • Weight: Up to 13 ounces
  • Color:  white heron with a slender, black bill, black legs and yellow feet 
  • Adult Description:   plumes on head, neck, and sometimes in back
  • Immature Description:  Yellow stripe up the back of the black legs and yellow feet; with pale-based bill when they leave nest, becomes black during autumn; lacks shaggy head, neck, and back plumes
  • Life Expectancy:  In captivity, some snowy egrets have lived over 16 years of age.

    General information:

    The snowy egret is related to the "Great White" Heron and the Great Heron.  And similar species include the Cattle Egret (shown here), Reddish Egret, Little Blue Heron, and the Little Egret. Snowy egrets are also known as the lesser egret, little egret, little snowy, little white egret and little white heron. 

    The nest, also referred to as a clutch, is made from small sticks and twigs and set somewhere between 4-10 feet.  Using their nests as evidence, scientists believe that the snowy egret are not far removed from reptiles.  They breed once a year with other herons, lining their nests with three to five eggs-greenish blue in color.  It takes 20-25 days after the chicks are hatched before they leave the nest and begin exploring on their own.  And their breeding population levels still remain low because of their near extinction.

    In the later 19th century, these birds were hunted to nearly extinction for their plumes.

    The birds hunt by using one foot to stir up the mud and striking at prey.  Sometimes they will even go as far as hovering in the air and dropping in order to catch prey. 

    Special anatomical, physiological or behavioral adaptations:

    Breeding territories are chosen by the males.  Not uncommmon, the males use them for hostile and sexual displays. 

    Snowy egrets have been observed fighting more frequently than any other North American heron, although they hardly ever inflict physical wounds. 


    Snowy Egrets:  Main Page
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