This is only the second Reddish Egret I've seen in the past year or more, both in the Ding Darling Refuge on Sanibel Island, note the tracking device on its back. The Reddish Egrets were decimated by plume hunters in late 1800s. Reportedly not seen in Florida between 1927 and 1937, the numbers have gradually increased under complete protection. Current United States population roughly 2000 pairs. While populations have been recovering during the past century, this species is now threatened by the degradation and destruction of its preferred coastal habitat.
The Reddish Egret is a medium-sized egret with blue-gray body and shaggy, pale, reddish-brown head and neck, pink bill with a dark tip and blue-gray legs. White morph has all-white plumage, black-tipped pink bill, and black legs.
Their feeding behavior consists of running through shallows with long strides, staggering sideways, leaping in air, raising one or both wings, and abruptly stabbing at fish.