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Snowy Egret (Birds of South Carolina)

Updated: May 13, 2023

A beautiful, graceful small egret, very active in its feeding behavior in shallow waters. Known by its contrasting yellow feet, could be said to dance in the shallows on golden slippers.

Photo: Kelley Luikey

This graceful member of the heron family (Egretta thula) is distinguished from other tall white wading birds by its bright yellow feet and the flourish of long, flowing plumes that show during breeding season.


Includes fish, insects, crustaceans. Diet is varied, includes fish, crabs, crayfish, frogs, snakes, insects, snails, worms, lizards, rodents.


Breeds in colonies, often or usually mixed with other species of wading birds. Male selects nest site and displays there to ward off rivals and attract a mate. Displays include pointing bill straight up, raising all plumes, and pumping head up and down while calling; variant of this sometimes given in short flight. Also flies in circles around nest site; flies high and then tumbles down. Nest: Site is in tree or shrub, usually 5-10' up, sometimes on ground or higher in tree. Nest (built by both sexes) is a platform of sticks.

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