Snowy Egret, Egretta thula: Saint Augustine Alligator Farm;
Saint Augustine, Florida
Aigrette, a plume of feathers, an ornamental tuft of upright plumes, brush; all apt descriptions of the graceful plume feathers of egrets and some herons in their breeding dress.
This photo shows a male Snowy Egret with it aigrette feathers raised in nuptial display. The demand for these delicate aigrette plumes in the millinery trade was the reason that these beautiful birds were driven to near extinction at the turn of the last century.
The mass killing of egrets for the millinery trade was also the catalyst that initiated the formation of the Audubon Society. Its members were instrumental in passing the Lacey Act (1900), which ended the use of birds and feathers in the millinery trade.
Nikon D7000, Nikkor 300mm f2.8, 1/1250 @ f7.1