Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Snowy Egret

While Erika searched for shells on the Sanibel, Florida, beach, I looked for birds. I saw far fewer last March than we listed in January 2010. For one thing, with so many people on the beach in 2015, space for birds was severely limited.  But those birds present proved, perhaps unsurprisingly, to be remarkably tame.

As I have previously written, Snowy Egrets, from about 1880 until 1910, bore the brunt of the Millinery trade. In 1886, the plumes, used in women’s hats, sold for twice as much than gold—$32 per ounce (Parsons and Master 2000). Since 1910, after the passage of protective laws, Snowy Egret populations have rebounded, even exceeding historical numbers.

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