Mary and I were walking on the beach this morning…(Just kidding, Jim)
Actually – yesterday when we were returning from the beach I noticed that workmen had mowed down the grass in the lot at the end of our roadway. This is the same lot that gets flooded during heavy rains and plays host to hundreds of frogs. The rains stimulate grass growth and the workmen had used machetes to level the overgrown grass while we were walking.
Eight or nine egrets were feeding on insects stirred up by the workmen as I walked up.
We often see egrets in the rice fields and down near the beach, but it is a bit unusual to see them in a field of grass.
The cattle egrets we see throughout the year are completely white and look just like their larger cousins the snowy egrets we see in abundance down by the boca.
As I got closer to these egrets I thought that I had located a different species as these had tan splotches on their backs and on the crowns of their heads.
I tried to creep up closer to get more detailed pictures, but the wily birds kept walking further away from me. I did get these closer shots.
I checked our The Birds of Ecuador – Field Guide when I got home and learned that these are indeed cattle egrets, but that cattle egrets change their coloring with the darker tan areas when it is breeding time and then go back to full white after breeding season.
So, apparently love is in the air in the egret community and,
Life is good in Ecuador.