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Great Egret (Ardea alba) at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge

Great Egret (Ardea alba)

Great Egrets are common at the refuge in all seasons, and though I occasionally see one here and there all over the site, a few of them (along with cranes in much larger numbers) seem to reliably turn up as winter days are closing in the fields east of the road along the driving tour's southeast end (see the trail map; the tour is one-way anticlockwise). This is often the last big highlight of the tour, as there are no wetlands along the northeast section and bird numbers usually aren't as spectacular there.