695

Snowy Egret
This bird's yellow feet help it find food. How?

Answer:

Snowy Egrets have a wider variety of feeding behaviors than any other North American heron or egret. Several of them involve different ways of moving their large, yellow feet to startle small fish and other prey out of hiding.

Foot-stirring is the most common. It involves moving one foot forward, and then wiggling it in a circular motion through aquatic plants and mud. Any fish that moves is quickly stabbed by the beak. Another variation is hover-stirring. For this, the egret hovers above the water, and again uses a foot to stir the water, catching any fish that move.

They have also been seen moving a foot slowly through the water above the mud, using the toes as a worm-like lure to attract fish.

Another foot strategy is "disturb-and-chase". The egret moves forward quickly, using its feet to scare fish, which it then chases. All in all, Snowy Egrets have been seen to use 34 different feeding behaviors, a truly amazing bird.

Non-subscriber