White Heron

white-heronI consider myself lucky that I have seen more than a few of these beautiful birds in the wild. They seem so elegant and stately, often standing over 3 feet tall. Yet, many of the times I’ve seen them it was when they were hunting in roadside drainage ditches. They were after the frogs that called those muddy waterways home. They would be there in their stark white plumage amongst the rotting vegetation and all too often the garbage some foolish person decided could not remain in their car a moment longer. Another favorite hunting ground for the birds seems to be waterways and ponds on golf courses. The rich green fairways and greens often made the bright white birds easy to spot.

This white heron drawing is from a a book about North American Birds. It is the work of Chester A. Reed – an artist most well-remembered for his reproductions of wildlife. The white heron goes by a number of names – Ardea alba, great egret, common egret or large egret. Wikipedia oddly says that “great white heron” was the name given these birds in the “Old World.” Well, this here American and many of the people I met along this country’s coastal communities call these birds white herons. Adding the “great” was less common but often used just the same.



This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.