The Rio Dulce School for Awkward and Inelegant Egrets

Cattle egret community
When you think of birds, you usually think of grace, no? The curve of a wing in flight, feathers fanning out, the swoop of a long white neck, the weightlessness of gliding on air. You think of sprites and nimble spirits. Hummingbirds and swans.
Cattle egret community
Cattle egret community
Kris rowed me out to a group of trees standing in the river, this morning, to photograph a rookery of cattle egrets. I snapped what I could with my camera set on continuous exposure, hoping that maybe one or two of the hundreds of exposures I made would give me a good photo of the birds, which were in constant motion.
Cattle egret community
Looking over them after lunch, I certainly did get some clear, interesting pictures of this bird community…not the sort I expected, though. I caught many birds in incredibly awkward, ungainly, and…well…freakish postures. Most un-birdlike! This was no Swan Lake photo shoot…they look more like monsters from the old Muppet Show. Or…a rooster?
Cattle egret community

This one. The unstable artist and substance abuser of the community, I’ll bet…
Cattle egret community
Cropping and choosing photos to upload to my Flickr account, I laugh out loud more than once. Kris looks up from his newspaper.
“What are you doing?”
“Editing photos of a bunch of chickens on meth,” I tell him.
“A bunch of what, on what?!”
Cattle egret community
Cattle egret community
Cattle egret community
Finally, there was a photo where these gangling, long-legged dance-hall freaks in yellow tights and orange mohawks managed to get their act together, and give me one reasonably bird-like photo that embodied, if not exactly grace reminiscent of Clair de Lune, then at least the idea of three birds having finally agreed on facing one direction. Better than nothing, theater people, carry on!
Cattle egret community

P.S. Posted from an internet café, using stuff written and edited on Kris’ laptop, and moved via flash drive. 🙂

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13 thoughts on “The Rio Dulce School for Awkward and Inelegant Egrets

  1. Love, I not sure if it’s on the disc of Planet Earth I gave you for Kris, but there’s a sequence where a young egret very ungracefully, loses its balance on an upper tree branch and just keeps flopping down from one branch to another, into the waiting jaws of a crocodile. While adult birds just watch! So much for doting parents! ha

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  2. HILARIOUS!! thanks for posting such entertaining pics. Looking forward to seeing you back at Jacksons one day sometime soon, Ingrid said she was looking forward to having you back on deck!! xxx >

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  3. I love the one where it looks like you photo shopped out a couch or something. The bird is just hanging there with his wing propped up on the arm of the couch and poof you took it away. LOL

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