Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens rufescens)
9 April 2009, Grande Island, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.
This species is uncommon and local in southeast Louisiana where it breeds
(or formerly bred) in the vicinity of Chandeleur Sound to the north and
east of Grande Island. The famous Chandeleur Islands were largely
destroyed by Hurricane Gustav in the summer of 2008.
This is the only individual we saw on our recent trip. High winds made the
bird hunker down in an uncharacteristic hunched pose.
This is the nominate race E. r. rufescens which is said to be paler on the
head than E. r. dickeyi which replaces it on the Pacific Coast. A more
significant racial difference is that the white morph does not occur in
West Coast birds.
Digiscoped with Panasonic DMC-LZ5 Nikon FieldScope 3 / 30X WA hand-held (no