Nature Journal
with Photos

Snowy Egret Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Sexes similar
- Medium-sized long-legged wading bird
- Usually holds necks in "S" curve in flight
- Entirely white plumage

- Thin black bill and yellow facial skin
- Black legs with yellow feet
- Shaggy plumes on head, neck, and back in alternate

- Yellow stripe up the back of the black legs ,and
   yellow feet
- With pale-based bill when they leave nest, becomes
   black during autumn
- Lacks shaggy head, neck and back plumes

Similar species
Great Egret and "Great White" Heron larger with thicker, yellow bills. Cattle Egret smaller, with shorter, yellow or orange bill and pale legs. The Reddish Egret can be similar as white morph immatures, but has a much larger bill, blue-gray legs and gray lores.

Immature Little Blue Heron has a variably gray- or yellow-based bill with black tip and can be similar to immature Snowies that have pale bases to the bills, but always has gray facial skin, green legs and blue-gray primary tips (best seen in flight from below and not always visible at rest). Little Egret, which occurs only rarely in North America, is very similar but has gray facial skin and two long head plumes in alternate plumage.
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