A Great Egret Preening

At Miner’s Cove, nestled within the serene Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, I had the pleasure of capturing a stunning moment of a Great Egret preening. This elegant bird with its impressive wingspan provided me with an unforgettable wildlife photography experience.

Great Egret Preening
Great Egret Preening

Preening is an essential activity for Great Egrets as it helps them maintain their feathers’ pristine condition. Besides, this behavior is crucial in regulating their body temperature by distributing natural oils secreted from their uropygial gland. These oils provide insulation and make their feathers water-resistant, thereby helping them stay dry even when they wade through shallow water.

It is interesting to note that Great Egrets, also known as Ardea alba, are a common sight in wetlands across the United States. They are particularly known for their striking white plumage and long, yellow beaks. These birds typically feed on fish, small amphibians, and invertebrates, using their sharp beaks to capture prey.

In conclusion, the Great Egret’s preening behavior is an essential aspect of their daily routine, which not only helps them maintain their pristine appearance but also protects them from the elements. Witnessing this behavior up close was a privilege, and I feel fortunate to have captured this beautiful moment through my lens.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R7
  • Lens: Canon RF 800mm F11 IS STM


I use a beanbag draped over the open window of my pickup truck to support my camera and lens. This setup offers me excellent visibility, allowing me to closely observe the egret’s preening behavior without disturbing it.

  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: April 16, 2023 (08:42 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f11
  • Shutter speed: 1/3200
  • ISO: 800 (Auto)
  • Focal Length: 800 mm

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