Snowy egret in exhibit

Snowy Egret

Scientific Name

Egretta thula

Class

Aves

Order

Ciconiiformes

Range

North and South America

Habitat

Shallow waters of bays, inlets, swamps, ponds, and lagoons

Estimated Wild Population

n/a
Snowy egret in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

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Physical Description

Snowy egrets were named for their all-white plumage, although their black legs and yellow feet are also distinguishable. These herons have orangish-yellow eyes connected by a similarly colored band of feathers that stretches overtop their black beak. Upon maturity, adult birds develop long, fine plumes of feathers along their chest, back, and neck. Snowy egrets prey on a wide variety of creatures both in and out of the water. Females build nests from sticks and twigs, and both parents contribute to the incubation and rearing of young.

Interesting Fact 1

Snowy egrets have large bills that can grasp prey, including earthworms, insects, fish, snakes, and lizards.

Interesting Fact 2

Males attract mates by performing vocalizations and courtship displays that include bobbing motions delivered with their bill stretched toward the sky.

Interesting Fact 3

Although their population dropped significantly in the 19th century due to hunting, the population has rebounded thanks to various hunting restrictions, such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Animal Care staff working with seal

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Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

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