Egrets and Herons are probably the most photographed & painted birds in the entire Lowcountry. In the late 1800's and early 1900's, white egrets were hunted to near extinction, over 95% were killed for their feathers, which were very popular trend in ladies fashion.
The egret is actually a white heron. The largest is the Great Egret and is identifed by its large white body and long black legs. This bird is the symbol for the National Audubon Society, which was formed to protect birds from being killed for their feathers. The Great Egret can be found feeding on fish and other tidal marine life in pools and tidal flats. They are very graceful when flying. These birds seem to know when a camera is being pointed at them and will fly just as you are ready to shoot the picture.
The Snowy Egret is a smaller version identifed by yellow feet, black beak and yellow around eyes.
Cattle Egrets have a yellow bill and black legs, but it is much shorter and stockier, and often has a reddish wash over the head, back, and chest
The Great Blue Heron
This is the largest of the Heron, and is identifed by its gray-blue body and yellow beck. It is found feeding in calm tidal pools and on the river banks. It is very diffucult to sneak up on these birds.