Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Egrets of Avery Island

Avery Island is located 3 miles inland from Vermillion Bay which in turn opens onto the Gulf of Mexico. Owned by the Avery family since the 1830s, the island is a salt dome and where Tabasco Sauce is made. After Edmund McIlhenny wed Mary Eliza Avery, he founded the McIlhenny Company and began the manufacture of his famous Tabasco sauce. Edmund's son, Edward, a conservationist, saved the snowy egret from extinction after plume hunters slaughtered thousands of them to provide feathers for ladies' hats. Using eight pairs of young egrets, Edward raised them in captivity and then released them into the Gulf of Mexico in the fall to migrate. The following spring they returned with other birds of their species. Today, several platforms constructed in the marshy areas serve to encourage their numbers. What a legacy Edward McIlhenny left behind!

A few of the breeding platforms

Breeding cattle egret

Cattle egret in breeding plumage

Mama protecting her eggs

Mama inspecting her eggs

Another breeding cattle egret - you can tell by the deep purple around the eye, the deep red of his beak, and the feathers fluffed out. He is signaling to the females that he's ready for action.

Oh, get a room already! lol

I think this is a tricolored heron
We're taking the ferry to White Castle today. Trying to enjoy our freedom before I go back to work.


Edit 5/30/12: I'm going in for my 2nd interview this Friday, so I don't have the job yet, but I feel pretty good about it! :)

Linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday.

31 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

(so, does that mean you got the job?!)

and i love these shots. the cattle egrets look pretty fine in their breeding colors!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What gorgeous birds. Those breeding platforms are interesting - I've never heard of such a thing.

ladyfi said...

Wow wow wow - pure amazement! These are amazing.

cat @ sea.sky.stone. said...

LOL at "get a room already" :)

Gorgeous shots--I'm so envious because I've never had ANY luck with egrets. Love all the details with the feathers!

Hilary said...

Wow, Gail. Your posts keep getting more and more beautiful. I'm in catch up mode and trying to keep up. Your birds, bugs and images of NO are just amazing.

hootnonny said...

Oh Gail, these are awesome! The tri-colored heron looks like a peeping Tom!

bailey-road.com said...

What a legacy, indeed! Your photos of these beautiful birds are wonderful, Gail! Enjoy the rest of your free time.

Shug said...

I've been waiting for this post! Great History right there on that island and I appreciate you for taking the time to share it..I remember seeing those platforms, but the birds were not there when we were. Great photos..
hugs,
shug

missing moments said...

I love their breeding colors! You have captured them so well! Enjoy your time before back to work.

mick said...

Great photos and a very good example of successful conservation.

heyBJK said...

What gorgeous shots, Gail! The egrets are beautiful! We don't have them here, but I wish we did.

NatureStop said...

Wow! Amazing captures!Thanks for sharing and have a great day.

Shantana

Pieces of Sunshine said...

They are such beautiful birds. You have some wonderful photos of them Gail.

Gary said...

What a great post and tribute to the Avery's. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Nancy said...

Simply gorgeous! When do you go back to work?

Phil said...

Wow! Those are beautiful shots - such breeding plumage.

GRØNN FRYD HOS MONIQUE - said...

Fantastic photografies that show fantastic birds! Very interesting!

lisa. said...

A truly wonderful series of photographs Gail, and how fortunate you are to be able to capture these magnificent creatures.

lisa. said...

I did not see the last line of this post til just now...
Does this mean that you got the job????
If so, a very big congratulations to you!!!

Tricia said...

Wow, look at all those birds! What a beautiful group of photos. It looks like you got the job...congratulations! :)

Kittie Howard said...

Wow, more great photos. Sorry to go backwards but I've finally got a breather to kick back and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! (Hub's significantly older brother took a tumble, ended up in the hospital and left with 12 stables in his head. We're hoping he'll mend his ways about pushing his luck.)

Tricia @ Bluff Area Daily said...

Their feather ARE very beautiful, but I couldn't kill them or want them killed so I could wear them on a hat... how absurd, in my opinion, anyway.

The purple eyes & red beak is kind of intimidating to me, so thank goodness he isn't my species! ROFLMBO! LoL! =)

Springman said...

I don't think I've ever seen a cattle egret in breeding plumage, what a revelation!
;-)WBW!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

We visited Avery Island several years ago, one of the highlights of our roadtrip that year -- well, of any year. I just loved that place and the story. We were lucky too to see the cattle egrets in breeding plumage. We LOVE Louisiana. Have been there several times, but only the once to the Island.

Barbara said...

Yay, you got the job!! And no panty hose!! Double-yay!! That out of the way, these are just gorgeous pics and I loved reading the history of this place! Thank you!!

eileeninmd said...

Wow, what a cool place to visit and see all these beautiful egrets. Love the pretty heron too. Lovely photos.

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

Those are the coolest! Breeding platforms? I never would have thought that. They're so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

JillsyGirl Studio said...

I can't imagine anyone wanting to kill these beautiful creatures! Your shots, as usual are amazing! What a beautiful place to visit!

septembermom said...

Love your photography Gail. These birds are beautiful!

Hope the 2nd interview went well :) You'll have to give me tips about interviewing when I try and jump back in the job hunt.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Wow Gail I was so impressed with your last post I came back to enjoy and noticed that you had posted several more. Wow you are so talented! Love the spoonbill!

SkitzoLeezra said...

I am gonna Google search for how-to instructions to build my very own breeding platform. Those egrets are on to something there.
PERHAPS it is the missing item in my life?