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Snowy Egret (Egretta thula), La Jolla, California. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these delicate beauties were nearly hunted to extinction; their elegant snow white feathers were highly prized for fashionable hat decorations. In 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act provided them protection and by the mid 20th century, snowy egret populations were beginning to recover. Today, they inhabit the majority of their original range and snowy egret populations are stable.
Standing motionless, a Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) studies the tide for unsuspecting prey, La Jolla, California. The greatest threat to Snowy Egrets is loss of habitat; shallow fresh and salt water wetlands must be preserved and kept pollution free to ensure the survival of this species.
At sunrise, a Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) dances across the water in anticipation to fly. Although large and heavy, Cranes are surprisingly elegant and nimble.