New Great White EGRET Card by Janthina Images

Great White Egret with lovely breeding plumes or aigrettes – Big Cypress Preserve, Florida

Janthina’s new card features a beautiful white egret with breeding plumage and set in Florida’s evocative Big Cypress Preserve!

The  avian family Ardeidae  contains the most elegant of the birds of Florida!  The two genera of Ardeidae which so frequently capture my imagination and grace my viewfinder are: Ardea or the great herons and Egretta which are generally smaller herons which have striking ornamental breeding plumes on their lower back and/or tufted head plumes. The Louisiana Heron or Egretta tricolor has coppery back plumes and tufts of white head feathers during the breeding season.

Admittedly there has been confusion over the years on which genus to put some of the herons and egrets. The Great Egret or Great White Egret shown on this card has been known by different common names over the years such as Great Egret, American Egret, Great White Egret or even Great White Heron (the latter of which is certainly no longer used and confuses with the Great White Heron white color morph of the Great Blue Heron).

Scientific names range from Egretta alba, Casmerodius albus, or Ardea alba. Today this heron, though a bit smaller than the great herons, seems to have been classified with the larger herons under the genus Ardea instead of  Egretta.  It is a large bird in any case.

The quickest way I find to tell these two birds apart on first glance is by the color of the legs. The Great White Heron (Ardea herodias occidentalis) has thicker, yellowish legs and the Great White Egret or Great Egret (Ardea alba) has long, slim black legs. During breeding season the Great Egret will have the lacy train of aigrettes while the Great White Heron will have the characteristic white head plume but no cascade of back plumes.

As it happens, the French word aigrette, which is pronounced ‘egret,’ defines the genus. Aigrette refers to a tufted crest or feathery plumes used to decorate a headdress. The plumes of the white egret  were once desired with such intensity that the birds were nearly hunted to extinction. While it is hard to imagine killing such a creature to decorate a hat, it is certainly not hard to see why they wanted to own such beauty.

The card image above was taken in the Florida’s evocative, watery Big Cypress Preserve. Dressed in its mating garb, the egret stood perched on a fallen limb adorned its own way by ‘aigrettes’ or tufts of  tillandsia airplants!

We welcome your visit …click on Just Cards to navigate to the Online Sales Gallery of Florida cards at www.janthinaimages.com   !!

TO VIEW or ORDER This CardClick on  Great White Egret Greeting Card to navigate to the online card sales gallery!

Til Then….

Go out and visit Floridas evocative Big Cypress Preserve!! There is nothing so magical as light filtered through a cypress canopy!!

Learn More: there is much to learn..these are only a beginning!!

http://www.nps.gov/bicy/index.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardeidae

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~ by Judy on July 14, 2012.

6 Responses to “New Great White EGRET Card by Janthina Images”

  1. I love your description of the limb covered with its own “aigrettes”. Very nice!

    The birds are marvelous. Like you, I often depend on the legs for identification. There have been at least two species here this year that I don’t recognize. I need to get out my binoculars and bird book and carry them with me. I may not get a pension or health care with my work, but I have herons, osprey and such as “office mates”. What could be better?

    • What a great way to look at it!! Maybe we could be like an old indian or a swamp bird, when the time comes just dematerialize into a shadowy cypress realm of primitive beauty.

  2. Absolutely STUNNING! I love this image… Ethereal and graceful, as always. Those breeding feathers are a sight.

    Now you have me wanting to drive down to Big Cypress again (great hiking!!).

  3. […] are in the same family as herons but the French word for tufts or tufted feathers is Aigrette pronounced ‘egret.’ The presence of aigrettes is one feature which separates the great […]

  4. It’s a beautiful image, Judy. I ordered a package of Great White Egret cards and they turned out very nice indeed. Will put them to good use this season.

    • Thanks so much for commenting and letting me know you were pleased with the cards!! I really enjoyed my photo day in Big Cypress when I discovered this beautiful bird on its perch of tree limb and tillandsia plants. I hope everyone you give the card to loves it!!

      Thank you truly!!

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