Taking in the early morning light on Pine Point, just north of Scarborough, Maine, I found a mix of about twelve birds, mostly great egrets with a few snowys mixed in. I got into position with the black, seaweed-strewn breakwater behind them and snapped a bunch of reference shots. This one caught nice rim light and a brief moment between predatory strikes at sandworms and little silverside minnows in the outgoing tide rivulets. If you look closely at the back of the middle bird, you’ll see some delicate plumes lit by the morning light. These are called aigrettes. In the late 19th century great egrets were hunted nearly to extinction in order to harvest these aigrettes to decorate women’s hats. I am pleased that today we can still admire these graceful plumes on their original owners.
Egrets at Pine Point Beach is a 10" x 20" acrylic painted on a wood panel.