Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Snowy Egret

Egretta thula


The purpose of this Spotting is to explain " Why Egrets stand on one foot?" I found two main reasons. 1.Birds purposely create their own shadows in the water. Apparently egrets can blend better with their surroundings and look like a shrub to a fish by standing on one leg. The word “pedigree,” which is one’s family tree, comes from the French “pied de grue” – crane’s foot. This is sometimes represented artistically as a tree with exposed surface roots or even a bird’s foot in old ancestral diagrams. Take a close look at the egret’s legs and feet if you ever get the chance. The tough skin really does make them look like tree trunks, and undoubtedly fools fishes seeking a bit of shade for cover too. 2. Birds’ legs have an adaptation called “rete mirabile” that minimizes heat loss. The arteries that transport warm blood into the legs lie in contact with the veins that return colder blood to the bird’s heart. The arteries warm the veins. By standing on one leg, a bird reduces by half the amount of heat lost through unfeathered limbs.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Spotted by

Fresno, California, USA

Spotted on Jan 8, 2012
Submitted on Jan 8, 2012

Spotted for Mission

Related Spottings

Snowy Egret Little Egret Snowy Egret Garceta común

Nearby Spottings

cactus slug jasmine Cactus
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team