Southside Egrets

Once again south suburban Chicago lakes, ponds and sloughs are the home to migrating Great Egrets. In the springtime they pass through the area and some even stay all summer long to nest and raise young ones. During springtime, their breeding season, the great egret changes into its gorgeous nuptial plumage. A patch of skin around its eye turns neon green and long flowing plumes grow from its back. The egret fans its plumes during a courtship dance in hopes to attract a partner.

These beautiful plumes, called aigrettes, nearly brought the egret to its extinction in the late 19th century. During this era, it was fashionable to use the egret’s long plume as an ornamental headdress. The plume hunting nearly wiped out the species before preservationists demanded regulations to protect the great egret’s colonies. Since then, the great egret has successfully rebounded. As a result of the success of these early conservationists, the bird became the symbol of the National Audubon Society.

A great egret balances itself on top of a barren tree during an approaching storm. Its neon green skin and long flowing back plumes are a telltale sight that it is breeding season.
A statuesque great erget reflects its elegant white plumage in a shallow pond. It opens its beak to scream in an attempt scare invaders away from its territory.
Barren Tree Egret
Perched high in a barren tree, white plumes dancing in the wind and a yellow beak glowing in the sun, a great egret could be mistaken for an angel.
With delicate strides a great egret appears to walk on water. The subtle pastel colors reflecting in a pond provide a heavenly environment for the egret to wade through still waters.
A great egret extends its wings as it rises to the clouds in a powder blue sky.
A statuesque great egret displays its elegant white plumage while hiding near dried lake reeds.


2 responses to “Southside Egrets”

  1. Dean Miller Avatar
    Dean Miller

    Thank you for sharing your amazing photos!

  2. Dean Miller Avatar
    Dean Miller

    Thank you for sharing your amazing photos!