Reddish Egret at UCSB

I had some amazing luck today.  While on a quick walk to the lagoon, a juvenile Reddish Egret landed within 50 feet of me.  Even more amazing, when I walked closer it didn’t fly away!  Actually, it seemed completely focused on hunting and ignored all the people walking by.  After watching it for a couple minutes I gambled that it would stick around and ran off to find my camera.  Thankfully it was still around when I got back.  Unlike most other herons/egrets, Reddish Egrets have a very animated style of hunting and are particularly fun to watch.  It’s amazing they catch anything with all of their running about.

For non-birders reading this, you may be wondering… “what’s the big deal?”  Well, this is the rarest of the herons, with one of the most restricted ranges in North America.  This species is known to make brief appearances in Santa Barbara County, but it is far from common.  Here’s a small sampling from the huge number of photos I took.

“Elegance”  –  Lagoon at UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

“Canopy Feeding”  –  Lagoon at UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

“Changing Direction”  –  Lagoon at UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

“Static”  –  Lagoon at UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

“Move Along”  –  Lagoon at UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

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