February 18, 2011
Snowy egrets were both hunted to the brink of extinction a century ago when their long, fluffy mating plumes became all the rage for women’s hats -— fetching up to $32 an ounce. Laws protecting egrets represented one of the nation’s first conservation success stories. Egrets are among 65 species of herons.
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The snowy egret froze, gazing into his reflection as the wind ruffled his nearly fatal feathers. My heart froze to see him, cast back to the last time I saw my father in the sunlight.