This past week as I was showing photos from a weekend on the Mississippi River between Illinois and Iowa, I saw plenty of Great Egrets. Another common Egret, although not common in Northern Illinois, is the Snowy Egret (Above, 12-29-09), which I saw a few last winter while staying in Phoenix, AZ for a week. The Snowy Egret will spend summers in the southern range of the Mississippi River from Lousianna to as far north as Southern Illinois, as well as along sea coasts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf. The Snowy Egret has more black in its bill and a unique feature is its yellow feet (as you can see in the photo Below, 12-29-09) with black legs while they are in their breeding months from Feb. - July (The Great Egret has fully black legs and feet). Since these Egrets were not breeding (Aug. - Jan.) their black legs are more of a greenish color.
The same Snowy Egret in flight showing its yellow feet.
Another Snowy Egret, a Double-crested Cormorant, and an American Coot hanging out together at a water hazard at the Ocotillo Gulf Course in Phoenix. Maybe they formed a mixed threesome.