I photographed this Great Egret hunting along the canal of the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge in eastern North Carolina. This long-legged, S-necked white bird is found throughout the Americas and around much of the world. The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society and represents a conservation success story. The snowy white bird’s beautiful plumage made it far too popular in 19th-century North America. Great Egrets were decimated by plume hunters who supplied purveyors of the latest ladies’ fashions. Their populations plunged by some 95 percent. Today the outlook is much brighter. The birds have enjoyed legal protection over the last century, and their numbers have increased substantially.
Canon EOS 1D MKIII, EF 300mm F2.8 IS L USM lens, 1/4 Teleconverter, Gitzo Monopod