Feeding Time Ain’t Pretty With Great Egrets

I usually use this blog to update my students’ parents, the school community, or my network of art educators about what is happening in the art room. I’m making an exception for this event my husband and I stumbled upon in the St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach, Florida, when we were in town for our grandson’s wedding a couple of weeks ago.

We had been busy with wedding activities from the moment we arrived in Panama City Beach right up through the wedding. While everyone else was recuperating and resting the day after the wedding, we got up early and took a walk through St. Andrews State Park. We were enjoying the trails, seeing the herons and pelicans, deer and bitterns, and while my husband was busy keeping an eye out for alligators, we suddenly heard this noisy racket out of the blue. We followed the noise to see what was going on.

We stood and watched for about half an hour as Great Egret attempted to feed its young. I am not a bird expert and I welcome correction if these are not Great Egrets. This is the best guess I have garnered from the searches I conducted. These same searches let me know that this bird feeds its young through regurgitation (my initial response – gross!), and in order to do so, actually sticks its head down the throat of the smaller bird. We saw this and did not know what was happening.

Families with young children walked through and the parents ushered them past quickly before the kids became engrossed – it was such a racket! And it appeared to be so violent as the other young competed for food and attention.


I was talking about this experience with one of my classes after my return and they 6th grade students were equally intrigued and repulsed. What a thing! I have never seen this in the Boston area. Anyway, thank you for indulging me this post, I had to share it somewhere!

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