Snowy Egrets use their Feet to Eat

One morning when we were headed to the beach to film the sunrise, we were stopped in our tracks by these snowy egrets feeding with their feet.  Snowy egrets are smaller than Great egrets, and their bill is black with a yellow patch near the eye (yellow lores).  At the ends of their black legs are striking yellow feet, which the snowy egrets use to feed in several different ways.  They use the feet to stir up small fish as well as flying in almost slow motion, dragging their feet in the water to create a “fishing” experience.  Fish come to investigate the commotion and are swept up by the snowy.

Take a longer look at Snowy Egrets feeding

Here’s a longer video with no narration, but some detail shots cut in.  It was taken along Huyler house pond during our regular sunrise videos.  At the very end you’ll find some flashbacks to summer, when hundreds of egrets, herons, skimmers, stilts, spoonbills, and even a few shorebirds were feeding together.