I love seeing the cattle egrets during mating season. Their beaks change colors and the feathers on their back turn tan. The one above was only slightly changed. During non-breeding season all of his feathers would be white. These are all from my annual trip to the bird rookery in north Tampa in April.
This one was ready to nest. HIs beak is in bright orange and yellow colors with that touch of purple at his face and his legs have turned pink. He was busy bring sticks to the nest deep in the bushes.
After many trips to the nest with sticks, he stood on a branch and took a break. It’s hard to believe this is the same type of bird as the one in the first picture.
You could just make out the mate in the bushes. She was busy putting the sticks in the right place on that tiny nest. Soon they’ll be starting a family.