Documentation of Great Egret

Observer Information

Reporter:  Julie Capp  2406 Ute Court,   Fort Collins, CO  80525
Other Observers:  Rick Capp

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Great Egret
First Date/Time:  6/25/2016 4:15:00 PM
Last Date/Time:  6/25/2016 4:30:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  15 minutes
County:  Weld
Specific Location:  Location Not Listed
Number:  2
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Breeding


Muddy area at the edge of an agricultural field near the Cache la Poudre River

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Nikon 10.5 X 45 binoculars, bare eyes
Distance:  50 yards
Light:  Perfect, clear afternoon

Description of the Bird

We were riding our bikes on the bike path along the Poudre south of the Eastman Koday property. When we rounded the corner we saw one great egret feeding with four great blue herons. The difference in the species was striking. The bird had a long yellow bill, long feathery tail plumes and black legs and feet. This bird was feeding rather voraciously by reaching forward and out into the mud. The herons were passive nearby. This bird was not quite as tall as the herons and more slender. The neck was longer. We rode on a little more. When we came back by the area we saw a second egret with the group. It was also walking and feeding in the mud.

Similar Species Discussion

Great blue herons were nearby and provided a great comparison. I also considered snowy egret but these birds were much larger and the feet were black. The bills were yellow.

Resources Used

Knowledge and prior familiarity with the species from Mexico and other tropical areas. I used my good Nikon binoculars but I really didn't even need them. We were close and had very good views of the birds with just our eyes.

Previous Experience

I have observed this species a number of times in tropical areas. I have even seen one great egret in Larimer County previously.


Notes made AFTER observation

Materials Available

No files uploaded.

Date Documentation Submitted

6/26/2016 6:16:00 PM

Location Map

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