Paynes Prairie: Great Egret

A Great EgretThe Great Egret breeds on the prairie and is considered a common sight there. This bird was classified as endangered in the early 1980's in several states, including Illinois and Wisconsin. Their endangered status was due to plume hunters and wetland loss, which is why the prairie is so important to this bird. Although this bird has recovered, they are not completely out of danger. Wetland loss must be reduced to keep this bird safe from extinction, just another reason why the preserve is so necessary. This species is also prone to breed and migrate to warmer climates in the south.

You can recognize this bird by its white feathers, yellow beak and jet-black, long legs. They like to nest near lakes, marshes and wooded swamp areas, such as Paynes Prairie. Their diet usually consists of aquatic insects, frogs, fish and snails.

Check out this bird's call (click on listen to this species on this page).

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