WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – HOLEY LAND WMA, FL
This is a photograph of a Reddish Egret that was captured at the Holey Land Wildlife Management Area in Florida. This Wildlife Management Area is located off of US-27 (Okeechobee Road) in Florida at the Broward County-Palm Beach County boundary. For bird lovers, this is a terrific place to grab your camera, and walk by the storm water canals. The camera gear used in this shoot was a Nikon D90 camera body attached to a Tamron 28-300mm lens and a Tamron 2x teleconverter. This Reddish Egret was photographed from a distance of approximately 50 feet.
The Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) grows to a height of 30 inches. It has a long neck, with long shaggy feathers. Its bill is long and fairly thick, pink, and black tipped. The legs of the Reddish Egret are long and slaty. In its Dark Morph phase, which is the more common than the White Morph phase, the body and wings are slaty gray, while the head and neck are reddish brown. The Reddish Egret awkwardly rush about in shallow water, chasing fish. They create a canopy with their wings to lure fish in to the shade.
The habitat for the Reddish Egret is shallow, open waters, brackish and salt, and mudflats.
The Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) is a medium-sized heron. Like its relatives, the Snowy Egret and the Great Egret, the Reddish Egret was hunted mercilessly in the past for its plumes. While such hunting no longer takes place, the Reddish Egret is still under threat.
Compared to other herons, the Reddish Egret is a very active forager and may race back and forth, flapping its wings, spinning and jumping as it visually stalks fish, frogs and crustaceans in shallow salt or brackish water. It may hold its wings spread and curved forwards to create a shadow and reduce glare on the water. Once in position, it spears its quarry with its sharp beak. In the air, it flies with steady wing beats. It is most active at dawn and dusk. Reddish Egrets swallow their quarry whole and will later regurgitate anything that is indigestible.