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Reddish Egret - Lagoon Dancer

An elegant member of the heron tribe!

The Reddish Egret, a particularly glamorous heron, is best known for its startling antics in capturing fish. When fishing, the egret sprints across the lagoon, weaving left and right, simultaneously flicking its broad wings in and out, while stabbing into the water with its bill. Fish startled at the egret’s crazed movements become targets of that pink dagger. At times, the bird will raise its wings forward over its head, creating a shadow on the water. It then freezes in this position for minutes. Fish swim in, attracted by a patch of shade and . . . well, you know the rest.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®
Reddish Egret, Lagoon Dancer
Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote. [Laughing Gulls calling distantly; soft lapping of waves]

On the Gulf of Mexico, a long, low sandbar marks the entrance to a protected expanse of water – a lagoon. Small fish dart across the lagoon, riffling the ankle-deep water. A Reddish Egret waits, watching alertly. The Reddish Egret, [Reddish Egret calls and sounds] a particularly glamorous heron, is named for the ruffled plumes of its long neck – which gleam like burnished copper. [Reddish Egret calls and sounds] The egret stands nearly three feet tall – on lanky, cobalt blue legs. Its bill, a long, pink dagger, is tipped in black.

Exquisite, yes. But Reddish Egrets are best known for their startling antics in capturing fish. [Running, splashing] When fishing, the egret sprints across the lagoon, weaving left and right, simultaneously flicking its broad wings in and out while stabbing into the water with its bill. Fish startled at the egret’s crazed movements become targets of that pink dagger. [Sound of plunging rapidly into water] This is just one of the Reddish Egret’s several fishing tactics. At times, the bird will raise its wings forward over its head, creating a shadow on the water. It then freezes in this position for minutes. Fish swim in, attracted by a patch of shade and . . . well, you know the rest. [Laughing Gulls calling distantly; soft lapping of waves] 

Today’s show brought to you by The Bobolink Foundation. For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.

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Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Reddish Egret call [9700] recorded by R.S. Little; Laughing Gull [25783] recorded by G.F. Budney.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org  January 2017  Narrator: Michael Stein
ID#         REEG-01-2013-01-23    REEG-01

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