Snowy Egret

This morning as I stumbled around the kitchen getting breakfast ready I glanced out the window at the pond behind our backyard.  This glance has become part of my morning routine – absentmindedly checking to see if there are any interesting birds around.  In recent days it has been the usual cast of Grackles, Mourning Doves and a family of Black-necked Stilts.  But today was different.  A beautiful Snowy Egret was tiptoeing his way around the edge of the pond.  In South Florida there are plenty of Cattle Egrets and Great Egrets around, but I rarely see a Snowy.  In fact it was a first for this year.

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)
The Snowy Egret can be identified by its mostly black bill and yellow lores in front of its eyes.  Cattle Egrets and Great Egrets are also white-bodied, but have mostly yellow bills.