BIRD OF THE WEEK:
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Egretta rufescens
HABITAT: Shorelines and shallow saltwater flats
The Reddish Egret is one of the rarest egrets in North America. It’s easily distinguished from other egrets and herons by its shaggy appearance, hyperactive feeding behavior, and pink-and-black bill.
Reddish Egret numbers in the U.S. were decimated by plume hunters in the 19th century, and populations never fully recovered. Like Snowy and Wilson’s Plovers, this species is dependent on coastal habitats for successful foraging and breeding—the same areas that are vulnerable to sea level rise caused by climate change. Habitat loss is another problem for this bird.