Reddish Egret


The Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) is a medium-sized heron. It is an active forager and can be seen jumping, spinning, and running in pursuit of small fish around coastal tidal flats, shallow salt marshes, lagoons, bays, and estuaries.

San Diego County is near the northernmost limit of the Reddish Egret’s range, and only a few individuals occur here, mainly in fall and winter but those few are easy to spot because of their frisky foraging. The red mangrove swamps of Florida and arid coastal islands covered in thorny brush in southern Texas have many more nesting Reddish Egrets.

Did You Know? The Reddish Egret is notable for its two color morphs. It may be either a dark color or white, beginning with the downy stage in the nest. Only the dark version, however, is seen along the Pacific coast.

To learn more about the Reddish Egret please check out the San Diego County Bird Atlas from your local library or purchase it from the Museum store.

PHOTO CREDIT: Derek Bakken