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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Reddish Egret, the rarest wading bird in North America!

Reddish Egret, J.N. Ding Darling NWR, Sanibel, FL recently, doing it's typical "drunken sailor" hunting behavior to catch fish. This is the rarest wading bird in the country according to authorities, with populations dropping. Research (by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute) on these birds is going on at J. N. Ding Darling NWR, with some (not this one) being fitted with satellite transmitters so more can be learned about its movements, habitat and feeding needs. Reddish Egrets need a relatively rare foraging habitat: just the right depth of water, a clear, firm sea bottom, the right tidal movement, and the right kind of small fish. They also need undisturbed nesting areas. Of the ones studied at Ding Darling so far, they have learned that these birds are very local in their movements, not moving very far. (Canon SX 50 camera in Sports Mode photos). We have seen 6 at a time foraging in Ding, so that is prime habitat for them, good thing it's protected!

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