Amazing Pink Egret!

These photos were just sent to me by a friend in Placquemine, LA.  His family owns Dupont’s Nursery, and his grandfather is the man who developed the gorgeous Cajun Hibiscus you have seen featured in some of my photographs.  His name is Rob, and he did me a huge favor by forwarding these photos to me this morning.

He has seen this bird hanging around the nursery recently and was finally able to photograph it in a nearby field while the grass was being mowed.  I assume the cattle egret was following behind the cutter picking up bugs to eat.

I am not taking time to research this before posting it up, because I have to jet outta here to go fishing, but if one of you does a follow up and gains any information on this, please share it with us here.  LSU is supposed to go there today and check out this amazingly colored bird.  (And it’s not as simple as eating shrimp, because there aren’t any shrimp available where this bird was discovered.)

See for yourself!

Photos Courtesy and Copyrighted Property of R. Dupont. Please do not copy and use without permission. Thank you.

Is this a cross between a Roseate Spoonbill and a Cattle Egret?  Can that even happen?  This is the color of the roseates, though!

Okay, be back later to read your comments!!!



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Amazing Pink Egret! — 40 Comments

  1. Amazing photos – what a shade o’ plumage!

    As it appears to be a juvenile, I wonder if it might be the “Reddish Egret” – specifically the “Dark Morph”:

    The “White Morph” o’ this genus do not seem to carry any red in their plumage at all!

    According to Audubon; “…the Reddish Egret is the rarest and least well-known of the North American herons”

    According to The Daily Green; “Nearly extirpated from the U.S. by about 1900, this beautiful shorebird survived the hat-plume craze but barely. Reddish egret numbers remain low, and the National Audubon Society has designated it a red WatchList species because habitat loss threatens the remaining population. Most breeding happens along the Texas Coast, and the Florida population – before the BP oil spill – stood at just 10% of historic levels.”

    Ye’d be surprised with a search for “Egret” how many folk don’t know an Egret from a Spoonbill or an Ibis…yet another reason Wetland Tours are such a valuable resource! (with a nod to our mates at Audubon as well)

  2. I went to Dupont’s website and, as always, want every hibiscus shown. Thanks for including the site for me to dream about.

  3. I just spent too much time searching the web, and found a few references to pink cattle egrets. This one is pretty spectacular, I’ll say that!

    I did wonder if crawfish could affect color like the shrimp do. The mottling on this one suggests it’s a genetic thing, though. Either that or the salon it went to didn’t do a very good job at applying the color!

    I can’t wait to find out what else you learn about it!

    • Kendra, thanks for the photo, but I hate to be the one to inform the gal who took this photo . . . those are Roseate Spoonbills. IF you look closely, you can see the shape of their bills. They come here in the winter and hang out. The white birds in the photo are snowy egrets, just an FYI!! It’s okay, not everyone knows their birds like a true Bayou Woman, LOL!!!

  4. That last photo should have a caption. Something like …
    #@%$*&, I can’t eat a single meal without the #@%$&* paparazzi. It really ruffles my feathers!

  5. It’s definitely a cattle egret…maybe one that migrated from somewhere else… Certain algae can make the pink color. It’ll be interesting to know what LSU says about it. Very beautiful! 🙂

  6. My sister and I saw one of these pink egret on our way home from Shreveport to Red River Parish today. It was in a body of water by the road side with other white egret. We had never seen one before and didn’t know what is was until I found this post.

    • Hi Debbie, and thanks for taking the time to write about what you saw today. Some folks have confused a “roseate spoonbill” with this pink egret; but you seem very certain it was a pink cattle egret. I guess if they migrate that far, it could even be this same one. No one from LSU ever got to see it and determine what caused its pink plumage. If you hear anything else, please come back and let us know, won’t you? You’re welcome here any time, though. We have a great time on the bayou! BW

  7. I saw a pink egret flying over the bridges connecting Morgan City, LA and Berwick, LA. At first I thought I was seeing things. I’ve only ever saw white ones. Now I know I’m not crazy.

  8. Just checking the internet for pink egret. I saw one this morning. I live on a small lake that connects via a narrow channel to Mobile Bay. There are herons, egrets, geese, coots, pelicans, cormorants and lots of other wonderful wildlife. My bird book is always open on the coffee table and I am becoming quite familiar with our local water birds. But a pink egret? I am so happy to learn my eyes did not deceive me – I really saw one. Hope he returns for the abundant fishing.

  9. I found your website while searching for pink egrets. I live in port st. Lucie, fl.and back up to a small canal bordering on a Savanna Preserve. Last year I kept seeing a single pink bird resembling an egret in flight and just last week I saw several fly by, and in flight they are a pastel pink. Needless to say, I am very eager to learn more about these beautiful pink birds.
    I would appreciate any up to date info you might have.
    Thanks. Lorraine

    • Lorraine, I replied to you in an email. This is most likely a fluke, this bird here, but what you are seeing are most likely Roseate Spoonsbills. Gooogle them and see if that is what you are seeing flying overhead! They are one of my very favorite wading birds! I love to watch them feed and enjoy their brilliant colors in flight!

  10. Today, while on the Stono River in Charleston, South Carolina, I spotted 3 beautiful pink birds. They look like egrets. Of course when our boat went by them they flew away but I have gorgeous photos of the three in flight. Wish I could post the pictures here!

    • You may be able to, but I’m not sure. However, they were probably Roseate Spoonbills, which are one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing!

  11. My husband and I saw what looked like a pink egret behind our house on Lake D’arbonne in Downsville, LA yesterday! It was the only pink one among lots of white ones. We looked at it thru binoculars . Couldn’t get close enough for a picture.

  12. Saw one in Madison Florida, back in 2001, only one I’ve ever seen, pink legs and all. And we have a pile of ’em down here.

  13. Hi
    I live in a neighborhood along the Tampa Bay near Weeden Island. I watched (and photographed) the exact same looking bird in a pond around the corner from my house this morning! It was NOT a spoonbill because it had the pointed beak of an egret. Fluffy wings and large wingspan (it flew right over me). It has the look of an egret but is pink. Stunning!!! I saw ANOTHER ONE a few hours later in a canal near Fossil Park. I’ve also seen one flying around Coffee Pot Bayou and Snell Island on two separate days last week. I am obsessed with this beautiful bird!!

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