This beautiful bird was sitting on my patio a few feet from my back door this afternoon. He stayed for several minutes. What is it, and why would he pick a spot so near my house to take a rest?
Norma Lent, Lafayette, California
It’s a great egret … a large white heron. It is actually pretty common to find them resting in backyards that have swimming pools. These birds hunt for fish, amphibians, etc., in our local creeks and ponds. As far as they are concerned a swimming pool is a natural pond, so this one is checking your pool out to see if there’s anything to eat. From the looks of your photos, your pool is located in a pretty wild, natural area. It should eventually realize there’s nothing edible in those greenish depths and fly off to look for other places to hunt. Nice photos. /Gary