|The snowy egret has yellow feet and a black bill.
|The great egret has black feet and a yellow bill.
The awkward elegance of egrets inspires poetry. Here is one of my favorites -- it is inscribed at the turtle pond in the Children's Zoo in Central Park.
Egrets by Judith Wright
Once as I travelled through a quiet evening,
I saw a pool, jet-black and mirror-still.
Beyond, the slender paperbarks stood crowding;
each on its own white image looked its fill,
and nothing moved but thirty egrets wading -
thirty egrets in a quiet evening.
Once in a lifetime, lovely past believing,
your lucky eyes may light on such a pool.
As though for many years I had been waiting,
I watched in silence till my heart was full
of clear dark water, and white trees unmoving,
and, whiter yet, those thirty egrets wading.
|Ten great egrets and one snowy.