Egrets and herons nest in trees, frequently in mixed colonies that include cormorants and ibises. When the male Great Egret (also known as the Common or American Egret) is ready to incubate the eggs, he lands on a branch near the nest; as he approaches, he raises his wings and the long nuptial plumes on his back. His mate reacts by raising her back feathers as he caresses her with his head. After the female leaves, the male settles on the eggs, once more raising and flaring his plumes.
Great Egret (Casmerodius albus)
Photographer: Kenneth M. Gale
Length: 36-42 in.
Habitat: wetlands, wet pastures.