One thing that draws me out each spring to photograph birds is their attractive breeding colors. I find changes in coloration fascinating, and in most species it renders a far different look from the same bird seen at other times of the year.
Today I am highlighting the cattle egret. It is a very common bird in Florida, and often seen in high numbers. During breeding season, the cattle egret undergoes a transformation from a very common looking bird into one that is a joy to behold. The most fascinating change to me is the lore, which turns a vivid purple right next to the bird's eye. The headshot above shows this purple lore better than any other cattle egret photos I have made to date. It was cropped from the image that appears directly below.
The bird's legs, which appear red here, may be also be pink or yellow, and in the winter they are darker, or even black.
[click on any image to enlarge]