Snowy Egret, Egretta thula, in breeding plumage
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, VA
This and other egret species were once hunted nearly to extinction for their feathers, which were used to make fancy women's hats. The practice was eventually banned by the migratory bird act of 1918. With protection, egrets populations have recovered substantially.
(Order Ciconiformes, Family Ardeidae)