Feeding flights of Snowy Egrets (Egretta thula), Tricolored Herons (E. tricolor), Little Blue Herons (E. caerulea), and Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) were monitored at a small nesting colony near Chincoteague, Virginia during late May and June 1979. All four species varied their flight directions over a series of days. Cattle Egrets oriented in a different direction (toward uplands) from the other three wetland-feeding species, which oriented toward Spartina marsh areas. None of the species showed a tendency to form groups while departing from or arriving at the colony. Tide level had little influence on flight directions used. Comparisons are made between these results and those from a similar study in coastal North Carolina.
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Feeding flights of nesting wading birds at a Virginia colony