Wading birds are generally long-legged and long-billed birds of the backwaters, away from the surf. They hunt by stealth, using their long legs to wade the shallows and their dagger-like bills and long necks to seize a variety of small prey.
The Snowy Egret
The Snowy Egret is a medium-sized, totally white egret with a long, slender black bill with yellow lores. Their eyes are yellow and legs are black while feet are bright yellow. They often choose urbanized nesting locations over isolated ones because isolated locations have more predators.
Great Blue Heron
The Great Blue Heron is Pensacola Beach’s largest wading bird, standing at an average height of four feet tall. It primarily feeds on small fish, though it is also known to feed on a wide range of shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents and other small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and small birds. It locates food by sight and usually swallows it whole.
Egret vs. Heron
It can be very difficult to tell the difference between an egret and a heron. They are closely related and share a number of characteristics. The easiest way to distinguish them is by color; most egrets have white plumage, while most herons have dark.
Snowy Egret and Great Blue Heron © Dean McCallum