Great Egret in a Nova Scotia Marsh
In Robie Tufts’ wonderful book – The Birds of Nova Scotia – he lists birds that occur in the Province by several categories. One of those categories is for birds that come to Nova Scotia a few times, but are not regular visitors or regular migrants passing through, nor are they breeding birds that stay here. That category is called “Visitants”.
This week, Norma and I were driving around a bit taking photos, and there in a marsh near Yarmouth was a Great Blue Heron (a breeding resident), but in front of that bird an all white wading bird. It was, as Robie would call it, a visitant, a Great Egret.
We see these birds commonly at our place in Florida, but the Great Egret is actually quite infrequent here in Nova Scotia, although with climate change, it could be pushing its normal range, which includes Massachusetts and mid-New England, northward.
I was excited to be able to get the image of the bird, but we were both a bit sad to see it here, as it’s pretty late in the fall for a bird like that to be here. Many times these birds figure out they’re too far north and can find their way to warmer climes, but frequently, they unfortunately do not do so, and simply perish when the ice and snow seals the ponds and marshes making the small fish less abundant that the Great Egret requires to feed on.
Birding and bird photography is a fun past-time as one never knows what one might see. Even if a bird is in the wrong place!