Great Egrets tend to nest high usually 10-40' above ground or water, sometimes very low in thicket or marsh, sometimes up to 90' high in tall cypress. The male selects the nest area and performs its mating displays there after driving away all other birds.

The patches on their faces, called a lores, become a brilliant lime green during breeding season and their back feathers grow into waving plumes. Courtship displays include calling, circular display flight, stretching neck up with bill pointed skyward. Their stunning feathers caused the dramatic decline in this species at the end of the 19th century when they became popular adornments for ladies hats.

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