Ask the biologist.
Q: While kayaking on the Hudson River in Easton on September 7, 2013 I saw this great egret with yellow "E12" tags on its wings. Can you tell me about the bird and why it was tagged?
--Jacquie Tinker, Rensselaer County
A: Thanks for reporting your sighting. The egret you photographed was tagged on Elder's Marsh East, Jamaica Bay, Queens on July 8, 2013. Prior to your sighting, it was spotted twice on August 19, 2013, perched along the Hudson River approximately one mile south of Schuylerville.
Audubon scientists in New York City band a small number of birds each spring (20 great egrets were banded in 2013) to learn more about the birds' movements and where they spend their winters. Reports like yours are instrumental in helping us learn more about the state's egrets and have shown that egrets hatched on harbor islands fly as far north as Canada before going south for the winter. To find out more about bird banding, visit www.nycaudubon.org.
--Susan B. Elbin, Ph.D., New York City Audubon