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 Snowy Egret

Status in Michigan
Uncommon Transient summer resident


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Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
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Count totals in the NMB Databases for Snowy Egret.

Use the links below to view the Snowy Egret reports in the respective databases.
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Active Database - Spring 2005
View Snowy Egret sightings.
Snowy Egret Archives Reports
Fall 2003 38
Spring 2003 5
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 3
Summer 2002 0
Spring 2002 5
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 1
Summer 2001 2
Spring 2001 2
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 14
Summer 2000 3
Spring 2000 17
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 0
Spring/Summer 1999 0

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Snowy Egret




Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Snowy Egret
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Snowy Egret
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.



Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited


Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
MISCELLANEOUS PUBLICATIONS
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Leucophoyx fhula fhula (Molina)
Snowy Egret

Very rare late summer visitant.

First authoritatively listed for Michigan by Van Tyne (1936: 322). Michigan reports and specimens referred to the Snowy Egret prior to 1935 have been recently shown to refer either to the American Egret, Ca.3- merodius albus egretta, or to the Little Blue Heron, Florida caerulea caerulea (Van Tyne, 1936:322; Fargo, 1937:200-201). Since 1935, however, several unquestionable records have been made. In the Erie marsh, Monroe County (Van Tyne, 1936: 322; L. W. Campbell, 1940: 34), Campbell collected an immature female (U.M.M.Z.) on August 10, 1935, and an immature male (U.M.M.Z.), 1 of 3 Snowy Egrets seen that day, on August 29, 1937. In 1938 he saw Snowy Egrets on August 6 (1), August 13 (2), and August 21 (4). In Norvell Township, Jackson County, L. Whitney Watkins, Fargo, and others observed an adult from August 2 to 8, 1936 (Fargo, 1937: 200-201).


Source:
MISCELLANEOUS PUBLICATIONS
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023


(From: "Life Histories of North American Birds" by: Arthur Cleveland Bent)


EGRETTA CANDIDISSIMA CANDIDISSIMA
(Gmelin)
SNOWY EGRET

HABITS

This beautiful little heron, one of nature's daintiest and most exquisite creatures, is the most charming of all our marsh birds. The spotless purity of its snowy plumage, adorned with airy, waving plumes, and its gentle, graceful manners, make it the center of attraction wherever it is seen. While darting about in the shallow water in pursuit of its lively prey, its light curving plumes fluttering in the breeze, it is a pretty picture of lovely animation. The full display of all its glory is seen as it approaches its nest to greet its mate or its young with all of the glorious plumes of its head, breast, and back erected and spread, like a filmy fan. It seems conscious of its beauty and likes to show off its charms for the benefit of its loved ones. No wonder that lovely woman appreciates the beauty of the plumes and longs to appropriate them to add to her own charms.

Courtship. The display of plumes, referred to above, is a part of the courtship performance, where it is seen at its best, but it is also used all through the breeding season as a greeting to its mate or its young. In the full display the body is bent forward and downward, the neck is held in a graceful curve, the feathers of the head are raised in a vertical crest, the breast plumes are spread forward and downward, the wings are partially open and raised, and the plumes of the back are elevated and spread, with their curving tips waving in the air. Such a picture must be seen to be appreciated; no written words or printed photograph can do it justice.

During the mating season the males are quite quarrelsome and many little combats are seen, involving two or three birds. Standing erect with wings spread and crest raised, they spar with half open beaks or strike heavy blows with their wings, until one has enough and retires. Audubon (1840) describes the courtship, as follows:

At the approach of the breeding season, many spend a great part of the day at their roosting places, perched on the low trees principally growing in the water when every now and then they utter a rough guttural sort of sigh, raising at the game moment their beautiful crest and loose recurved plumes, curving the neck, and rising on their legs to their full height, as if about to strut on the branches. They act in the same manner while on the ground mating. Then the male, with great ardor, and the most graceful motions, passes and repasses for several minutes at a time before and around the female, whose actions are similar, although she displays less ardor. When disturbed on such occasions, they rise high in the air, sail about and over the spot in perfect silence, awaiting the departure of the intruder, then sweep along, exhibiting the most singular movements, now and then tumbling over and over like the tumbler pigeon, and at length alight on a tree. On the contrary, when you intrude upon them while breeding, they rise silently on wing, alight on the trees near, and remain there until you depart.

Nesting. During the first decade of this century, when my earlier visits to Florida were made, the numbers of this pretty little egret were about at their lowest ebb. We did not see any snowy egrets anywhere except in the breeding rookeries with other species and even there they were very shy. There were still a few left in the big rookeries on the upper St. Johns. Here we spent all of one day, April 20, 1902, and part of another in the largest of the rookeries at Brad- dock Lake, where hundreds of Louisiana herons and many little blue herons were breeding, among which were a few snowy egrets. We were unable to determine how many of this species were nesting there and I succeeded in positively identifying only two nests of the snowy egret. This rookery was on a small muddy island, in the middle of the great marsh, covered with a thick growth of small willows from 12 to 15 feet high. Although all three species of herons were very tame, alighting on the trees all about us, they were very careful not to settle down on any of the nests within sight of us; it was only by lying for hours carefully hidden under some thick clumps of large ferns that I was able to satisfactorily identify a few nests. The first nest of snowy egret, containing four eggs, was placed 8 feet up in a slender willow and was merely a flimsy platform of small sticks. The second nest held five eggs and was located only 5 feet up in a leaning willow; it was made of larger sticks and lined with fine twigs. Neither the nests nor the eggs of the snowy egret are in any way distinguish- able, so far as I could determine, from those of either the Louisiana or the little blue herons. It is necessary to see the bird actually sitting on the nest to make identification sure; even then young little blue herons in the white phase are liable to lead to confusion and it is necessary to see the black legs and yellow feet or the graceful plumes of the snowy egret.

On both of my visits to the big rookery in Cuthbert Lake, in 1903 and 1908, there were a few pairs of snowy egrets among the hosts of other small herons; they were probably breeding there, but no nests were positively identified.

During the next two years conditions began to improve, as a result of protection and cessation of the plume trade. So that when I visited the coast of Texas, in 1923, I found snowy egrets quite common in many of the rookeries on the coastal islands. The best colony was found on Vingt-une Island in East Galveston Bay on May 5. We had seen many small white herons flying toward this island and were not surprised to find on it a flourishing colony, which we estimated to contain about 800 Louisiana herons, 400 snowy egrets, and 150 black-crowned night herons. It was a small marshy island, partly surrounded by shell beaches; on the boggy portions marsh grass was growing and extensive growths of tall canes separated the marshes from the drier portions; on the dry land were scattering clumps of low huisache trees and prickly pear cactus, together with thick tangles of vines, shrubbery, sunflowers, nettles, and other rank herbage. The snowy egrets' nests were mainly in the open places on the prickly pears or in the low huisache trees. They were mostly grouped in clusters by themselves; some were very close to the ground in the low cacti or underbrush and others were 5 or 6 feet up in the huisaches. They were rather flimsy structures made of sticks and pieces of dead canes and were lined with finer pieces of the same materials and rootlets; it seemed to us that the egrets used coarser material in their nests than the Louisiana herons. The nests all contained eggs, four or five in each, well advanced in incubation. I set up my blind in the center of this rookery and spent two or three interesting hours watching the home life of these beautiful birds. The nuptial display was often shown when a bird returned to greet its mate at the nest. I was greatly impressed with the tameness of these lovely birds.

Alexander Wilson (1832) gives us an idea of what conditions were in his day, when snowy egrets nested abundantly as far north as New Jersey; he writes:

On the 19th of May, I visited an extensive breeding place of the snowy heron, among the red cedars of Summers' Beach, on the coast of Cape May. The situation was very sequestered, bounded on the land side by a fresh water marsh or pond, and sheltered from the Atlantic by ranges of sand hills. The cedars, though not high, were so closely crowded together as to render it difficult to penetrate through among them. Some trees contained three, others four nests, built wholly of sticks. The birds rose in vast numbers, but without clamor, alighting on the tops of the trees around, and watching the result in silent anxiety. Among them were numbers of the night herons, and two or three purple-headed herons. Great quantities of egg shells lay scattered under the trees, occasioned by the depredations of the crows, who were continually hovering about the place. On one of the nests I found the dead body of the bird itself, half devoured by the hawks, crows, or gulls. She had probably perished in defense of her eggs.

An entirely different type of nesting was discovered by George B. Sennett (1878), in a marsh colony in Texas which no longer exists; he writes:

On May 15,1 was delighted-to meet with this, to me, the prettiest of all the herons in the salt marshes where it was breeding in innumerable numbers in company with others of the family. I otained numbers of birds, eggs, and young. It builds a flat nest of rushes, about 8 or 10 inches in diameter, with a depression of about 3 inches, and it is supported by broken-down, living reeds at a height above the water of from 6 inches to 3 feet. The young fresh from the egg are covered well with white down, and when a few days old are very pretty, compared with young herons. When I found them, the young were just hatching, and but few full families were out.

Similar nesting conditions in the tule marshes around Great Salt Lake have existed for many years; their history has been recorded by the Treganzas (1914); I quote from their notes of May 2, 1914, as follows:

This date found us in the marsh country destined for the rookeries. Within half a mile we noted a number of snowy herons rise at our right, whereupon we immediately secured a boat and set out to make investigation. We nosed into the dense tule growth to moor our boat, and had just started to break our way. With the first crackle of the reeds, head after head was seen to rise, long crane- like necks stretched up for inquiry, pure white birds, and in close proximity an iridescent black one; the ibis with their curved bills looking for all the world like quaint old Jews, lacking but spectacles and a skull cap. Another breaking of reeds and the whole colony rose en masse, a worrying confusion of wings and squawks and dangling legs; and for once we were actually convinced that white was black and black was white, so confounded were heron and ibis. This colony covered an area 20 yards wide by 100 yards long, and contained no less than 150 pairs of snowy herons, and about 100 pairs of white-faced glossy ibis. All of the ibis nests and many of the herons' were under construction, while some of the latter contained four to five fresh eggs. Having traversed this portion of the marsh at least once annually, we were surprised to find this new and larger colony, for previous years it contained only ducks and a very small colony of black-crowned night heron. All the nests were constructed of the growing reeds and rushes. Though quite dense, there was little matted down growth of years previous, thus much resembling the site of Black Sloughs, Salt Lake County.

Mr. Treganza writes to me that a colony which once numbered from 80 to 100 pairs, is now reduced to 50. He mentions also a colony of 50 or 60 pairs in the black sloughs and one of possibly 20 or 25 pairs at the mouth of the Jordan River. The other two colonies, at the mouth of Bear River and on Bear River Bay, numbered 75 to 100 pairs each when last visited in 1913. He says that the nests are in every way similar to those of the white-faced glossy ibis, reeds, and rushes being used to form the platform which is attached to the growing tules; in some instances the nests have been built of small twigs and branches of the sage; and in other cases no nests have been made, the eggs simply being deposited in a well- defined depression in the broken and matted down tules of the previous year.

Eggs. The snowy egret lays ordinarily four or five eggs, sometimes only three and rarely as many as six. These are ovate or oval in shape, generally near the latter. The shell is smooth with little or no gloss. The color is pale bluish green, varying from "pale Niagara green " to " pale glaucous green." The measurements of 46 eggs aver- age 43 by 32.4 millimeters; the eggs showing the four extremes measure 48.4 by 33.3, 41.2 by 33.6, 40 by 31, and 42.5 by 30.5 millimeters.

Young. Edward A. McIlhenny (1912) says that the period of incubation is 18 days. Both sexes apparently share in the incubation and the care of the young. William L. Dawson (1915) discovered a breeding colony of snowy egrets in Merced County, in California, in which he says that he established the fact that this species

deposits its eggs every other day, and the complementary fact that incubation begins with the deposition of the first egg. Indeed it could not well be other- wise, for a single day's exposure to that blazing interior sun would addle an egg however hardy. The youngsters showed, as the days passed, an exaggerated disparity in size and strength, yet even when a week old appeared amazingly small and helpless. Neither did they appear at all pugnatious as do baby squawks, but drew away timidly a* the approach of the hand, and for the rest divided their time between panting lustily and scrambling about in search of shade.

Mr. McIlhenny (1912) says that the parent birds, at first during the warmer hours of the day shield the young birds from the sun under their drooping wings, as shown in one of his photographs. When 10 days old they show a marvellous appetite and are always clamoring for food. Either the father or mother bird watches the youngsters constantly, and when the absent mate returns they caress and coo, being a most loving pair, as if they had not seen each other for a week. In from 20 to 25 days the youngsters leave the nest and spend the day perched on the twigs of the home branch, going back to the nest at night. The young are fed on regurgitated food in the same manner as described under the previous species, in which the display of plumes is a pretty feature. How can any one who has witnessed such a picture of beautiful home life have the heart to break it up'

Plumages. The downy young snowy egret is much like that of the American egret, but smaller of course. The forehead, crown, occiput, and sides of the head are covered with long, hairlike plumes, longest on the crown, three-quarters of an inch; the back is covered more scantily than the American egret, with long, soft, hairlike, white down; the lower parts are very scantily covered with white down and the throat is naked. The naked skin is light green, the bill and feet are pale yellow, shaded with green on the upper surfaces.

The Juvenal plumage, which is everywhere pure white with no trace of plumes anywhere, is worn without much change through the first fall and winter. Late in the winter or early in the spring, in February or March, a partial molt produces rudimentary plumes on the head, breast, and back. Young birds may breed in this first nuptial plumage. The first postnuptial molt begins in June, is complete and produces a plumage indistinguishable from that of the winter adult, when the young bird is less than a year and a half old.

Adults have a complete molt in summer, from June to September, at which the beautiful nuptial plumes and aigrettes are shed and replaced by the much shorter and straighter plumes of the winter plumage. Beginning in January or February the partial prenuptial molt produces the full perfection of the nuptial plumage, with its beautiful, long, curving aigrettes.

Food. Audubon (1840) has described the feeding habits of the snowy egret so well that I can not do better than to quote his words, as follows:

The snowy heron, while in the Carolinas, in the month of April, resorts to the borders of the salt-water marshes and feeds principally on shrimps. Many individuals which I opened there contained nothing else in their stomachs. On the Mississippi, at the time when the shrimps are ascending the stream, these birds are frequently seen standing on floating logs, busily engaged in picking them up; and on such occasions their pure white color renders them comspicuous and highly pleasing to the eye. At a later period, they feed on small fry, fiddlers, snails, aquatic insects, occasionally small lizards, and young frogs. Their motions are generally quick and elegant, and, while pursuing small fishes, they run swiftly through] the shallows, throwing up their wings. Twenty or 30 seen at Once along the margins of a marsh or a river, while engaged in procuring their food, form a most agreeable sight. In autumn and early spring they are fond of resorting to the ditches of the rice fields, not unfrequently in company with the blue herons.

Wilson (1832) adds: "It also feeds on the seeds of some species of nymphae, and of several other aquatic plants." Oscar E. Baynard (1912) found that 50 meals of young snowy egrets consisted of 120 small suckers, 762 grasshoppers, 91 cut-worms, 2 small lizards, 29 small crayfish, and 7 small mocassins, a most interesting collection, which proves that this species is decidely beneficial. Dr. Alexander Wetmore (1916) says of its feeding habits in Porto Kico:

Frequently the snowy egret feeds in lowland cane fields, especially when these are wet or partly flooded. Often in flocks of three or four they feed in the dry upland pastures. Two stomachs were available for examination, both of birds which had been feeding in mangrove swamps. The main content of these is animal matter, vegetable remains occuring only as rubbish secured with other food and amounting to but 1 per cent. One bird taken near Rio Piedras had eaten two dragon-fly nymphs, a small crab, a lizard, and a small frog. The stomach of the other, secured, near Mameyes, was nearly filled with bones of small gobies, the remainder of the animal food consisting of fragments of flies of the family Dolichopodidae and bits of a grasshopper. In their excursions to drier fields the birds must secure other insects. They feed to a large extent upon fish, but the fishes taken are of no great importance and the birds are not abundant enough to become noxious.

Behavior. Perhaps enough has been said above about its attractive behavior in its various lines of activity. In all of its movements it is light, airy, and active. It is very different in appearance and manner of flight from the American egret, besides being very much smaller. It is relatively much shorter and less slender, hence the plume hunter's name, "short white"; its wings are relatively smaller and its wing strokes are much quicker. From the white young of the little blue heron it is not so easily distinguished, unless one is near enough to see the plumes or the black legs and yellow feet of the snowy egret; in the little blue the legs and feet appear wholly dark. Audubon (1840) says:

While migrating, they fly both by night and by day in loose flocks of from 20 to 100 individuals, sometimes arranging themselves in a broad front, then forming lines, and again proceeding in a straggling manner. They keep perfectly silent and move at a height seldom exceeding a hundred yards. Their flight is light, undetermined as it were, yet well sustained and performed by regular flappings, as in other birds of the tribe. When they have arrived at their destination, they often go to considerable distances to feed during the day, regularly returning at the approach of night to their roosts on the low trees and bushes bordering the marshes, swamps, and ponds. They are very gentle at this season, and at all periods keep in flocks when not disturbed.

Dr. T. Gilbert Pearson (1922) writes:

At Orange Lake, Fla., they often approach the breeding island, flying at a height of only 4 or 5 feet above the water. When the colonies are in little ponds closely surrounded by high forests the birds must necessarily fly in over the tree- tops and then drop down to their nests. A situation somewhat similar to this exists at Avery Island, La., where Edward A. McIlhenny, by exercising ingenuity, based on a knowledge of the habits of the birds, has built up a colony of perhaps 2,000 nesting snowy egrets almost in his dooryard. Late in the afternoon these and other herons of the colony begin to arrive in numbers. Standing with Mr. McIlhenny on his lawn I have seen the birds arriving at a height of from 100 to 200 feet, until nearly over their nests, then with wings partly closed they volplaned almost to the bushes. A few vigorous wing beats and they would settle among the assembled hosts. Flocks of these snowy creatures dropping from the sky make a stimulating and most charming spectacle.

Enemies. Much that I have already written about the ruthless destruction of the American egret applies with equal or greater force to this smaller species. The little snowy egret was slaughtered in much greater numbers than its larger relative, because it was origin- ally much more numerous and more widely distributed, because it was much less shy and so more easily killed and because its short and delicate plumes were more in demand than the larger, stiffer plumes of the American egret. For these three reasons it suffered far more at the hands of the plume hunters and came much nearer being ex- terminated. But the same timely efforts stopped the slaughter before it was too late and saved the species, which is now increasing in protected localities.

The National Association of Audubon Societies in its campaign of education, circulated a great mass of literature on the subject. In its special leaflet No. 21 is a most striking picture of the horrors of the plume trade; it is a quotation from a paper by Mr. A. H. E. Mattingley, of Melbourne, Australia, published in The Emu; it reads as follows:

Notwithstanding the extreme heat and the myriads of mosquitos, I determined to revisit the locality during my Christmas holidays, in order to obtain one picture only namely, that of a white crane, or egret, feeding its young. When near the place, I could see some large patches of white, either floating in the water or reclining on the fallen trees in the vicinity of the egret's rookery. This set me speculating as to the cause of this unusual sight. As I drew nearer, what a spectacle met my gaze a sight that made my blood fairly boil with indignation. There, strewn on the floating water weed, and also on adjacent logs, were at least 50 carcasses of large white and smaller plumed egrets nearly one-third of the rookery, perhaps more the birds having been shot off their nests containing young. What a holocaust! Plundered for their plumes. What a monument of human callousness! There were 50 birds ruthlessly destroyed, besides their young (about 200) left to die of starvation! This last fact was betokened by at least 70 carcasses of the nestlings, which had become so weak that their legs had refused to support them and they had fallen from the nests into the water below, and had been miserably drowned; while, in the trees above the remainder of the parentless young ones could be seen staggering in the nests, some of them falling with a splash into the water, as their waning strength left them too exhausted to hold up any longer, while others simply stretched themselves out on the nest and so expired. Others, again, were seen trying in vain to attract the attention of passing egrets, which were flying with food in their bills to feed their own young, and it was a pitiful sight indeed to see these starvlings with outstretched necks and gaping bills imploring the passing birds to feed them. What a sickening sight! How my heart ached for them! How could anyone but a cold-blooded, callous monster destroy in this wholesale manner such beautiful birds the embodiment of all that is pure, graceful, and good?

The game scenes were enacted many, many times in this country. Picture the cost of a plume! The mother bird lies dead on the ground, the plumes rudely torn from her bleeding back, her reward for her maternal devotion. The father- less and motherless young stand in the nest; there is no one to feed them and they are growing weaker day by day. At length, too weak to stand or cry for food, they sink down in the nest, awaiting the and; death will be a blessed relief.

But, happily, all this is now passed and we can look forward to better things. Plume hunting has been largely stamped out, the egrets are protected in many places and they are increasing. One of the most striking examples of their coming back is shown in the work accomplished by Mr. McIlhenny (1912) at Avery Island, La., as explained in his pamphlet. Near his homo "was a wet spot of a couple of acres between the hills," known as a Willow Pond, which "was partly covered with willow, buttonwood, and other water-loving trees, marsh grasses, and ferns. In the trees and grass about this pond each spring a few green herons and least bitterns nested." With the idea of inducing other water birds to nest here and in the hope of saving a few of the remaining snowy egrets, he had a small dam built which raised the water level a couple of feet. In the spring of 1895 he hunted up two nests of snowy egrets and took the eight young birds from them, just before they were large enough to fly, and put them in a large wire cage on the edge of his pond. They became very tame, but, when liberated in November, they finally migrated south. Six of these birds returned the following March, two pairs mated and they raised four young to each pair. Thirteen healthy birds went south that fall and all returned the next spring. Five pairs nested that year, raising 20 young. And so they kept on increasing year after year and other species joined the nourishing colony, until now its inhabitants number many thousands. "The nesting water and marsh birds now include snowy heron, Louisiana heron, American egret, little blue heron, green heron, yellow crowned night heron, purple gallinule, Florida gallinule, American bittern, least bittern, King rail, anhinga, wood duck, blue wing teal, gadwall, and mallard." This has proven to be one of the most remarkable and most successful experiments in conservation of which we have any record in this country. It demonstrates what can be done under intelligent supervision and illustrates the great recuperative powers of wild life under favorable circumstances.

DISTRIBUTION

Range. From southern South America, north through Central America, the West Indies, and the United States to southern Canada.

Breeding range. South America, Central America, and southern and western United States. North to California (DOS Palos); Utah (mouth of Bear River); Nebraska (Lincoln); Illinois (25 miles above Peoria); Indiana (Mount Carmel and Swan Pond); Long Island, New York (Sayville); and New Jersey (7-mile Beach and Cape May). East to New Jersey (7-mile Beach and Cape May); Virginia (Cobb's Island, Mochorn Island, and probably Back Bay); North Carolina (Pea Island and Orton); South Carolina (Washoe Reserve on the Santee River, Mount Pleasant, Buzzard's Island, and Frogmore); Georgia (Savannah, Darien, and St. Mary's); Florida (Braddock Lake, Ocklawaha River, Mosquito Inlet, Pelican Island, Brevard County, Hillsboro River, and Cape Sable); Cuba (Isle of Pines and Manzanillo); Porto Rico (Pinero Island, Vieques Island, and Salinas); Venezuela (Margarita Island and the mouth of the Orinoco River); British Guiana (Georgetown); French Guiana (Cayenne); Brazil (Counani, Parahyba, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, and Taquara); and Argentina (Buenos Aires, Cape San Antonio, and Carhue). South to Argentina (Cape San Antonio and Carhue); and Chile (Valdivia). West to Chile (Valdivia, Santiago, and Tarapaca); Bolivia (Reyes); Peru (Santa Cruz, Ucayali River, and Tumbez); Ecuador (Manta and Balzar Mountains); Colombia (marshes of Cauca River, Atrato River, and Cartagena); Panama (Lion Hill); Costa Rica (Rio Frio and Guanacaste); Nicaragua (San Juan del Sur); Colima, Mexico (Rio Coahuayana); Tepic, Mexico (Acaponeta River); Sinaloa Mex- ico (Mazatlan); and California (DOS Palos).

Winter range. Resident throughout most of its range in South and Central America, and in the southern and western United States. North to California (mouth of the Santa Clara River and Stockton); Texas (Point Isabel and Galveston); and South Carolina (formerly Charleston). East to South Carolina (formerly Charleston and St. Mary's); Florida (mouth of the St. Johns River, Pelican Island, Orlando, and Lake Okeechobee); Cuba (Isle of Pines); and Argentina (Buenos Airos). South to Argentina (Buenos Aires). West to Sinaloa, Mexico (Mazatlan); and California (San Diego, San Pedro, and the mouth of the Santa Clara River).

Casual records. Like its larger relative (Casmerodius e. egretta) the snowy egret migrates north of its normal breeding range although not for such great distances nor in such large numbers. There are many records for the State of New York (Brooklyn, August 15,1915; Great South Bay, August 4, 1881; Sayville, Long Island, May 30, 1885; Fire Island, July 1, 1883, and others). In this general region the species has been observed or secured in Connecticut (Groton Long Point, early October; and Lyme, July 28, 1853, and August 16,2023); Massachusetts (near Boston, 1862; Northampton and Hummock Pond, Nantucket, March, 1881); Vermont (2 secured at St. Alban's Bay, in October, 1890); Nova Scotia (Windsor, 1872, and near Halifax, 1868); Ohio (Cleveland, August 25, 1889, also reported from Lorain Lake and Ashtabula Counties); Michigan (Ann Arbor, April 9, 1872, August 17, 1874, April 20, 1895, and June, 1895, and Kalamazoo County, August 6,2023); Ontario (Dunnville, May 18,1884, Mexican Point, Lake Ontario, July, 1888, and Combermere, August, 1892) ; Wisconsin (Lake Mills, fall of 1889, Lake Koshkonoug, June, 1860, and August, 1886); Colorado (several records, the most northern being Fort Collins, and White River Post Office, 1905); and Wyoming (Laramie, May 1, 1902, and May 23, 2023).

The specimen reported to have been taken at Burrard Inlet, British Columbia, May, 1879, has been reexamined and found to be the plumed egret, Mesophoyx intermedia.

Egg dates. Florida: 37 records, January 7 to July 15; 19 records, April 5 to May 6. Texas: 15 records, April 29 to June 12; 8 records, May 5 to 16. Utah: 21 records, April 22 to May 28; 11 records, May 2 to 25.


Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
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