On our Beginning Birders Tous we often get a chance to observe individual birds as they feed and go about their usual behaviors. The Snowy egret pictured here was using an unusual feeding technique. He was scrunched down with his chest and neck partially in the water.
|When the snowy was first spotted we thought there was something wrong with it. As you can see from the picture above, it was indeed feeding.
The waters in this impoundment are very shallow as are the water levels in many of the impoundments on Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Fish and other denizens of the Indian River Lagoon System find thier way into these ponds through a system of culverts and channels.
Birds and other wildlife of the refuge thrive on the abundant food.
|The snowy eventually stood up, shook itsself off and went about feeding in a more "normal" manner.
We most often see snowys standing and jiggling one leg back and forth, then suddenly stabbing into the water. A few times we have had a good view of a snowy just wiggling its golden toes around in the dark mud. Whether this attracts fish or just stirs the food up I don't know, but it does seem to be a successful method of feeding.