Betty White (Common Egret)

Egretta alba



Egrets are slender white birds. They stand tall on their long black legs and pose with slim necks pulled in until a fish or frog is located in the water. In careful, slow movements, the long neck stretches out and the bird stalks in slow-motion until it is within striking distance. Then-a sudden flash of a long yellow sword-beak and fish or frog is caught, twisted about, swallowed. Not many years ago, egrets almost went extinct. It was fashionable for ladies to wear egret plumes on their hats, and to satisfy this whim the hunters slaughtered thousands of adult birds at a time when young were in the nests. Finally laws were passed prohibiting the possession of the plumes. They have recovered and are now plentiful (Eifert, 10).


Betty White is missing her left wing from a collision with a guide wire. She lives in a mew where she can easily get to her water and food. She is even able to occasionally sneak up on a visiting sparrow and supplement her diet. She has lived at Critter Creek for more than ten years and has settled in fairly well with the wildlife station's routine. She is still shy and prefers to keep people at a distance.