Snowy Egrets have a slim bill and long black legs. The area of the upper bill, in front of the eyes, is yellow but turns red during the breeding season, when the adults also gain recurved plumes on the back, making for a “shaggy” effect. At one time, the beautiful plumes of the Snowy Egret were in great demand by market hunters as decorations for women’s hats. This reduced the population of the species to dangerously low levels.
Alligator River Wildlife Refuge was established to preserve and protect a unique wetland habitat type – the pocosin – and its associated wildlife species. Considered among the last remaining strongholds for black bear in eastern North Carolina, the Refuge also provides valuable habitat for concentrations of ducks, geese, and swans; wading birds, shorebirds, American woodcock, raptors, American alligators, white-tailed deer, raccoons, rabbits, quail, river otters, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and migrating songbirds. It serves as the core area for re-establishing the red wolf back into the wild.