"Great Egrets of 2009 at the Refuge" Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge Travelogue by glabah
Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 50 photos
Of the visitors to Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, perhaps the most starkly obvious are the Great Egret as they are starkly white against the Willamette Valley dark colors.
Frequently, Great Egrets may be seen singularly or in pairs, but during the off-season they may be seen in groups - though sometimes they defend their feeding territory.
Group feeding is particularly possible in places with adequate food, such as the Ankeny refuge.
Hunting Egrets may be fun to watch, as they quietly sneak up on prey and then lash out with their head and necks and quickly grab what they have found.
It isn't unusual to see herons and egrets sharing the same marsh at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, but they do share an uneasy truce sometimes. There have been times when I have seen one chase off the other due to some perceived or actual offense.
Yet, for the most part, they do seem to be willing to tolerate the other.
While the fall colors in Oregon are not extremely spectacular in terms of foliage, we do get some very impressive colorful sky, and one of the great things about Ankeny is that the sky is extremely visible here.
There are very few man made obstructions between the sky and the visitor here.
Perhpas one of the most surprising things about egrets is how they are able to keep such a stark white color when they are always surrounded by mud.
Especially in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, there is no lack of mud in their most favorite places to hunt.
Here is a great example of a situation where egrets have decided, for reasons known only to themselves, to allow themselves to feed as a group.
As a wonderful example of the view of the sky allowed at Ankeny, here is a view looking west at Sunset of the Coast Range.
Officially you are not supposed to be on the refuge after sunset, but there are a number of local roads through and next to the refuge that allow photography.
And the sun stil hadn't quite sunken completely behind the horizon anyway.
This photo was taken on New Years Day of 2011, but the rest of the photos were taken in late October of 2009. This just happened to be a convenient place to stick this photo.
More Travelogues (2)
Written Sep 16, 2009
Summer, 2009 at the Refuge
Written Jan 10, 2012
Summer on the Waters of Eagle Marsh
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