Palo Alto, CA
July 3, 2008
There was a small group of eucalyptus trees with a little rookery of Snowy Egrets nesting in them at the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. These beautiful birds were nearly wiped out in the late 1800's and early 1900's for their delicate plumage. The feathers were used in women's hats! What a tragic loss that would have been!
These birds may be elegant, but they do not make good neighbors! They would squawk and peck at each other if one came too close to another's nest. They make the funniest sound I have ever heard from a bird, a chortling sound like a drunk duck! This guy (or gal, they look alike) has raised its feathers, perhaps to make it look more intimidating or to attract a mate.