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Great Egret & Post-breeding Dispersal

Although Great Egrets (Ardea alba) do breed sporadically as far north as Vermont, seeing one in northern New England is always noteworthy. The likelihood of a sighting increases as summer progresses, due in large part to the phenomenon of post-breeding dispersal. After young Great Egrets have fledged, individuals wander well outside their typical breeding range, as far north as southern Canada. The northward dispersal of juvenile birds peaks in August and September. (This Great Egret is about to dine on a crayfish.)

7 responses

  1. Kathie Fiveash

    What is the prey item? I can’t make it out. A crayfish?

    September 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    • Yes, a crayfish. I meant to mention that, but forgot. Have gone back and added that information to text!

      September 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm

  2. Cordelia Merritt

    Hi Mary – Great shot BUT what is in/between its bills?


    September 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    • A crayfish — meant to mention what it was but forgot!

      September 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm

  3. Kathryn Connell

    A friend and I saw one at Sand Bar State Park and watched him strut around for quite awhile. Neat to see, but then we turned and looked at the other side of the lake and there were 7 of them standing on a log!

    September 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm

  4. That is a good size crayfish! And a good size bird – lovely!

    September 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm

  5. Terrific shot of the egret with bonus crawfish catch!

    September 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm

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