Majestic tourist

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A Great White Egret within a patch of mangroves.

Encountering a Great White Egret (Ardea alba) is a real treat! These stately birds are not very common and rather wary, so being able to observe one in the wild for more than a few seconds is a lucky feat. But as long as you respect its “circle of tolerance” it might allow you a better view of its blindingly white feathers, its long yellow beak and its blackish feet.

Most of the ones encountered on Curacao are (winter) visitors from South America. Although it has not been observed yet, we suspect that a few also nest on the Island. They normally feed on fish, catching them with a lightning fast strike of their bill, but also on aquatic insects. They hunt along the shores of lagoons and inner bays.

Hence my surprise to observe one of these birds striding slowly alongside a relatively busy road. I almost missed the reason for this behavior, but was able to ‘snap’ a picture. This particular animal figured out that lizards are also good eating, and quite easy to catch as well.

This story has a sad ending, though. Not long after taking this picture, I found the remains of this animal (or of its partner, I’m not sure about that) alongside the same stretch of road. Human traffic claimed another animal victim.

Tasty reptilian snack!











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