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Great Egrets Dispersing

great egret flyingAlthough Great Egrets 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. Most Great Egrets migrate in the fall, from September through December.The extent of their migration is influenced by annual fluctuations in temperature. When winters are mild, individuals may remain as far north along the Atlantic Coast as Massachusetts.

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5 responses

  1. Annie Kellam

    Thank you for this info. We saw one in Westminster Vt last week and at Retreat Meadows Brattleboro , West River Delta on the same day.

    August 19, 2016 at 9:00 am

  2. Alice Pratt

    Such a beautiful photo, with reflection!

    August 20, 2016 at 6:03 am

  3. We frequently see them along the shores of lower Lake Champlain this time of year.

    August 20, 2016 at 7:40 am

  4. Linda


    August 20, 2016 at 8:00 am

  5. Kathryn

    I can remember the exact place I first saw one of these (route 15 in Hardwick!) and thought I must be seeing things. They do not exactly blend in! Beautiful!

    August 20, 2016 at 4:08 pm

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