A Great Egret catching a fish on the lake between BraeBurn holes 6 and 2,18 September 2017
The June, 2017 issue of BraeBirds featured the Snowy Egret, the little cousin of this month’s featured bird: the Great Egret.  Like the Snowy, the Great Egret is a year-round resident at BraeBurn and I’m sure you all have seen one, either in or near one of our lakes or perhaps nesting in an oak tree bordering our driving range during the early spring.  This is the second tallest bird at BraeBurn at over three feet high, shorter only than the Great Blue Heron that is about 6 inches taller.  It is even taller than a Bald Eagle.  This is an all-white bird except for jet-black legs and feet and a yellow bill.  It has a wingspan of over four feet and has a long, S-shaped neck.  In fact, it has such a long neck that it can stand on our lake bulkheads and reach down to the lake to snag a fish, as shown in the photo.
Great Egrets seems to feed more alone than in groups, but on the day of the photograph, this egret shared bulkhead space with a Snowy Egret and a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron (BraeBirds, March, 2017).  It seemed to me that the other two birds came closer for a lesson, or maybe a handout, after the Great Egret snagged a fish.
The Great Egret is a year-round San Joaquin Valley (California), Gulf Coast, and Atlantic Coast resident but some individuals spend summers throughout the entire lower 48 states and into southernmost Canada.  It is also a permanent resident in the Caribbean islands and in almost all of South America, except for the highest elevations in the Andes.  It also resides in temperate climates in Europe, Africa, and Asia.  This is truly a global bird – and we have them at BraeBurn.