Snowy Egret Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a snowy egret?
Snowy egrets (Egretta thula), are one of the more elegant white breeds of heron, with long black legs and yellow feet, and black bills.
They are easily found all over the world, and are a migrating species in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Mississippi, California, Arizona, Louisiana, and Nevada.
What class of animal does a snowy egret belong to?
Snowy egrets belong to the Aves class of animals. The Aves class consists solely of birds, and belongs to the family of Ardeidae.
Birds are known to be warm-blooded vertebrates that are characterized by their feathers, laying of hard-shelled eggs, toothless beaked jaws, a four-chambered heart, and a lightweight yet strong skeleton.
How many snowy egrets are there in the world?
At present, the total population of snowy egrets in North America is more than 143,000 birds, and after the ban on the use of their plumes, their numbers are increasing. They can be found all over the world.
With proper measures towards their protection, their population is rising and will continue to do so hopefully!
Where does a snowy egret live?
The Snowy egret is native to Central America, North America, and South America. They are to be found all year round in South America, West Indies, Florida, and the coast of North and Central America. They are considered to be a migratory breed in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Mississippi, California, Arizona, Louisiana, and Nevada.
What is a snowy egret's habitat?
The snowy egret habitat consists of beaches, mudflats, wetlands, and river banks and lakes. Snowy egrets build the nest in colonies on trees, mangroves near the ground in marshes and shrubs. They can be easily found to fly just above the water surface with their feet ready to dip and catch their prey.
Who do snowy egrets live with?
Snowy egrets live in colonies on thick vegetation in barrier islands, salt marsh islands, wetlands, swamps, and marshes. These colonies are formed to keep them safe from predators that might hunt them when they are alone! Sometimes they are found breeding with another breed of Heron and incubate hybrid Herons such as little blue egrets.
How long does a snowy egret live?
Snowy egrets can live as long as 2-17 years in the wild, the oldest snowy egret ever found was 18 years, 10 months old in wildlife.
The lifespan of these species of birds depends mostly on their diet and the wildlife factors, including the scarcity of predators and other birds to compete against for food and habitat sources.
How do they reproduce?
Snowy egrets breed in a mixed settlement that includes night herons, glossy ibises, tricolored herons, great egrets, roseate spoonbills, cattle egrets, and little blue herons. Male snowy egret establishes a territory and starts constructing a nest, then he attracts a mate with an intricate courtship display that includes diving, bill raising, calling, and aerial display.
After this, the female finishes the nest using the materials brought by the male. Females lay up to six bluish-green eggs which are hatched for 24 days, and after 22 days a snowy egret leaves the nest.
What is their conservation status?
Snowy egrets were hunted for their soft plumes in the early twentieth century, ladies wore these plumes on their hats, the demand for these plumed hats played a role in the dwindling population.
The hunt for these birds for their plumes was banned in North American regions in 1910, since then the population of snowy egrets has recovered.
They are in a wide range and the population is large, no threats are recognized, so the IUCN has assessed their status as "least concern".
Snowy Egret Fun Facts
What do snowy egrets look like?
Snowy egrets are medium-sized white herons, with long black legs with yellow feet, and black bills. They have a yellow color patch, above their upper bill, which is located near the eyes, which changes its color to red during the mating season.
How cute are they?
On a scale of 1 - 10, Snowy Egret's cuteness would be rated as 7! Their soft plumes justify their elegant nature. Their clear white color makes them look majestic in nature. Immature egrets have greenish legs. They are a birdwatcher's treat! Spotting these birds is a hobby that many bird watchers follow and take an interest in.
How do they communicate?
Snowy egrets communicate through sound voicing and posture, the mature birds make high and low-pitched calls whereas the immature egrets produce soft, buzzing calls. Low-pitched calls signify aggressive situations, and they defend the territory surrounding the nest using low-pitched calls.
Usually, Snowy egrets are quiet but during breeding season the snowy egret sound tends to be high sound vocalizations to attract a female mate. Snowy egret call should be distinct and the returning mate should remember it so that they are not treated as a stranger.
How big is a snowy egret?
A snowy egret can extend up to 39.4 in (100 cm) in wingspan and weigh up to 13.1 oz (370 g), since these birds are sexually dimorphic, the males are larger than females.
How fast can a snowy egret fly?
Snowy Egrets can cruise at the speed of 25 miles per hour (40.23 KPH), but compared to other Egrets they fly slow but powerfully, with just 2 wingbeats per second. Snowy Egrets are mostly found flying in flocks. We can easily find a snowy egret flight just above the water surface with their feet ready to dip and catch the prey.
How much does a snowy egret weigh?
A snowy egret weighs up to 13.1 oz (370 g), great egrets are the biggest in size and weigh up to 52.9 oz (1500 g) and the smallest egrets are cattle egret weighing up to 7.76 oz (220 g).
What are their male and female names of the species?
At present, no particular name has been assigned to the specific gender of the species.
What would you call a baby snowy egret?
Baby snowy egrets are called chicks, both males and females take turns while incubating the eggs. Chicks leave the nest 22 days after incubation.
What do they eat?
Snowy egret diet consists of fish, frogs, snails, small reptiles, insects, crayfish, worms, and crustaceans. Snowy egret bird scapes their prey in shallow water while running, flushing their prey into view by glistening their wings or by vibrating their bills. They also hover above the water surface and catch fish with their legs.
Are they aggressive?
Yes, snowy egrets are aggressive and active feeders, they use many techniques to catch their prey. And are extremely protective of their nest, and will protect the territories their nests are in aggressively.
Would they make a good pet?
In many places, it is illegal to own a snowy egret. They are not suitable for keeping as pets, they eat fish, frogs, and other aquatic animals. Taking care of snowy egrets is not an easy procedure hence making them bad pets.
Did you know...
On record, the oldest snowy egret age was 22 years, 10 months old. It was affiliated in 1970 and was found in Mexico in 1988.
Snowy egrets are smaller than great egrets and have bright yellow feet and black bill, they slop on the water to spear small aquatic creatures and fishes.
During breeding season males and females take turns incubating their eggs, immature Snowy egret has flat yellow lores (area between the bill and the eye).
The cattle egret is found spending most of its time on land and are associated with wild grazing animals while feeding on insects and removing ticks from the hides of other animals they share a symbiotic relationship with.
The snowy egret is known to symbolize liberation, love, magic, joy, wisdom, and luck.
The great snowy egret is larger in size and has black bill black legs and feet, while the snowy white egret is smaller and has yellow feet. Snowy Egret juvenile has greenish legs.
The scientific name for snowy egret is Egretta Thula. They belong to the heron group of birds.
Predators of snowy egrets can be anything from birds to terrestrial animals like hawks, poisonous snakes, owls, and raccoons.
Snowy egret's method of adaptation is its long skinny legs and skinny toes which help them to stand with their body outside the water.
The snowy egret range comprises the United States, Canada, Central America, North America, and South America.
Snowy egret breeding plumage starts from the month of March to August.
The poem "snowy egret" written by Bruce Weigi is about a man comforting the neighbor's son who has killed an egret, explaining the loss of life.
How do snowy egrets recognize each other?
A pair of snowy egrets cannot recognize each other in the wild except in the nest. During breeding seasons, the returning birds have to perform elaborate rituals to greet each other in order to save themselves from being seen as an intruder and getting attacked.
What happens to an adult snowy egret's feathers during mating season?
During mating season an adult snowy egret grows long wispy feathers on its head, neck, and back. They display distinct greetings for their mate so that the returning mate is not attacked as they might attack strangers from intruding.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including wandering albatross, or yellow warbler.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Snowy Egret coloring pages.