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The Great Egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society, one of the oldest environmental organizations in North America. Audubon was founded to protect birds from being killed for their feathers.
Not all young that hatch survive the nestling period. Aggression among nestlings is common and large chicks frequently kill their smaller siblings. This behavior, known as siblicide, is not uncommon among birds such as hawks, owls, and herons, and is often a result of poor breeding conditions in a given year.
The oldest known Great Egret was 22 years, 10 months old and was banded in Ohio.
The pristinely white Great Egret gets even more dressed up for the breeding season. A patch of skin on its face turns neon green, and long plumes grow from its back. Called aigrettes, those plumes were the bane of egrets in the late nineteenth century, when such adornments were prized for ladies’ hats.
In mixed-species colonies, Great Egrets are often the first species to arrive, and their presence may induce nesting among other species.
Great Egrets fly slowly but powerfully: with just two wingbeats per second their cruising speed is around 25 miles an hour.
Though it mainly hunts while wading, the Great Egret occasionally swims to capture prey or hovers (somewhat laboriously) over the water and dips for fish.
Explore the mangrove forest with Chris…on a paddle board. It rocks.
Mangroves are various types of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes 25° N and 25° S. The remaining mangrove forest areas of the world in 2000 was 53,190 square miles (137,760 km²) spanning 118 countries and territories.
The term “mangrove” comes to English from Spanish (perhaps by way of Portuguese), and is likely to originate from Guarani[disambiguation needed]. It was earlier “mangrow” (from Portuguese mangue or Spanish mangle), but this was corrupted via folk etymology influence of “grove“.
Mangroves dominate three-quarters of tropical coastlines. The saline conditions tolerated by various mangrove species range from brackish water, through pure seawater (30 to 40 ppt(parts per thousand)), to water concentrated by evaporation to over twice the salinity of ocean seawater (up to 90 ppt).
Approximately 35% of mangrove area was lost during the last several decades of the 20th century (in countries for which sufficient data exist), which encompass about half of the area of mangroves. The United Nations Environment Program & Hamilton (2013), estimate that shrimp farming causes approximately a quarter of the destruction of mangrove forests. Likewise, the 2010 update of the World Mangrove Atlas indicated a fifth of the world’s mangrove ecosystems have been lost since 1980.
Grassroots efforts to save mangroves from development are becoming more popular as their benefits become more widely known.