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Inspired by the natural beauty, color, elegance, and grace of a Great Egret I recently had the pleasure of encountering.
I first saw this egret while driving on the pacific coast highway near Cardiff by the Sea, he seemed out of place and too close to the road, as the Egrets usually live at the San Elijo Lagoon and Wetlands across the road. I was concerned, and made an immediate U-Turn to quickly drive back, parked the car and walked by the egret to check his condition. He was so quiet and moved his neck constantly in a strange way. I became more concerned and called the local wildlife center. They said to be patient and observe his behavior. I waited for over 20 minutes and then suddenly this happened!
I have come across many other birds along the beach who were not as lucky as this Egret. They were sick and there was no quick way to report and save them.
What if this Egret was really hurt? How long would it take for a wildlife rescue agency to get to him? Is there a dedicated wildlife agency or is the only resource the humane society?
It is specially concerning as currently there is NO coordinated or collaborative standard process or system to report an injured Wildlife.
There is an urgent need to invest in a Wildlife Rescue system that is used across wildlife rescue centers and wildlife rehabilitation organizations.
Great Egrets are precious tall birds and generally live in shallow coastal lagoons, marshes, or around ponds. They can live up to 22 years!
Sadly they were "nearly wiped out in the United States in the late 1800s, when its plumes were sought for use in fashion, the Great Egret made a comeback after early conservationists put a stop to the slaughter and protected its colonies.". Audubon.org
Let's enjoy the beauty of nature and these amazing birds, learn from them and innovate, collaborate, do whatever that it takes to protect them and their habitats!