Snowy White Egrit

Photographed on 2 separate occasions in December, 2006 on the banks of Alamitos Creek. The egrits were patiently hunting on very nice afternoons.The Snowy Egret's immaculate white attire harmonizes with its graceful form to make it one of the loveliest of all birds. The ducks paddled into the scene & are a bonus as is the coyote.

Alamitos Creek originates in the foothills above Almaden Resevoir and meanders for more than seven miles to its confluence with the Guadelupe Rive at Almaden Lake Park. 

It's plumes (feathers) were highly valued for the decoration of women's hats in the late 1800's & early 1900's. The plume trade took a great toll on Snowy Egret colonies, until the tide of public opinion & style turned against using plumes for decoration.

The Alamitos Creek watershed drains a 38-square mile area, providing valley residents with water for percolation into our groundwater basin, surface water collection for use in a water treatment plant, and open space for hiking and water recreation.

Snowy Egrets employ an interesting method when foraging for food; they use their feet. Stirring & probing, they flus out small fish & amphibians, & promptly spear them with its sharp bill.

The water stored in the Almaden Resevoir is released into the creek during summer months to allow ”in-stream” and percolation pond recharge of this water into our groundwater basin. The water stored underground is pumped to the surface by water retailers for use in our homes.

Snowy Egrets roost and nest in colonies in trees near water. They breed once a year, & females lay 3 to 5 greenish blue eggs that hatch in three to four weeks. Their platform-like nests are built primarily of twigs & are located in trees about 7 feet above the groud or even on the ground.

The vast open space and parklands within this watershed provides residents with some of our best nature viewing and hiking opportunities close to home.

I first spotted this coyote as it was crossing Almaden Rd, it was traveling from the mountains of Quicksilver Park just preparing to enter Alamitos Creek.