image of a Great White Heron

The Great White Heron is arguably one of Florida’s most majestic birds.

The Great White Heron, or Great Egret, is one of the most majestic of all bird species that can be found in the Florida Everglades today. This beautiful bird once reached near-extinction in the early 19th century, due to the popularity of its feathers in ladies’ decorative hats and costumes, but has made a remarkable comeback over the years, largely due to strong conservation efforts by various wildlife organizations. This species has adapted remarkably well to change, and today faces its biggest threat through habitat loss. In 1953, the National Audubon Society chose the Great White Heron as its symbol, and the bird is also depicted on the backside of the Brazilian 5-raeis banknote.

The Great White Heron prefers to feed on fish, frogs, small mammals, and even the occasional lizard, finding its food in fresh water ponds and saltwater marsh slews. This particular species is known for stalking its victims, often lying motionless in wait for its prey, finally using its long, sharp bill to deliver a deadly strike. The Great White Heron can reach over 3 feet in height, and with a wing span between 5 and 6 feet, this bird is truly a sight to behold. The Great White Heron can be distinguished easily from other egrets because of its yellow bill and black legs and feet, and, unlike many other bird species, the males and females are perfectly identical in appearance.

Everglades City airboat tours are a perfect opportunity to try and spot these stunning creatures for yourself. An Everglades National Park boat tour will take you up and close and personal with all of Florida’s wildlife, creating memories the whole family can enjoy and look back upon for many years after.