Pacific Reef Egret preening

“On the evening of 16th February 2011, the tide was flowing seawards along the Telok Kurau canal and I was surprised not to see the Pacific Reef Egret (Egretta sacra) fishing, but preening itself instead. I figured it must have had its fill already and was carrying out bodily maintenance before turning in for the night. It was perched on the railing, steadily balanced on one foot, and fastidiously combing through its feathers with its long, slender bill. I was impressed with the dedication and care it afforded to each and every feather, in order to keep them in optimum functioning condition. This delicate and meticulous process continued for at least half an hour longer, after which it decided to fly off before darkness descended upon us.”

Dr Leong Tzi Ming
Singapore
16th February 2011

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