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A rare sight along the Bay of Green Bay

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 3:09 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A local wildlife videographer recently captured a rare sight along the Bay of Green Bay.

Freddy Moyano spends around three hours every day filming the birds and animals that call Northeast Wisconsin home.

When he picked up his binoculars recently along the lower bay, he couldn’t believe what he saw.

“In 20 years observing birds between the Green Bay point of the estuary all the way up to Marinette, observing birds in the area, I have never seen one of these,” explains Moyano.

Moyano’s camera captured a snowy egret along the shoreline.

“And I got a good 6-7 minutes of amazing footage of it darting at the water, constantly darting at the water,” says Moyano.

While great egrets are commonly seen around the Great Lakes, the much smaller snowy egrets are not.

Warmer, southern coastal states make up their habitat.

So why did this guy show up?

“They follow the food, so it could just be he was having a hard time finding food down there, so he was following some food up here, so that’s usually how it works, where the food is, that’s where you usually see them,” says Amy Harris, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Senior Animal Keeper.

“And you know what the funny thing was, the funny thing was there he was right next to the bigger egrets and the three bigger egrets that I taped were looking at it mesmerized, they were looking at it, what is it catching,” adds Moyano.

While the Great Lakes are not considered the range for snowy egrets, some models project that will change in the next 5-10 years due to climate change.

“There are a lot of birds and different sightings that people are seeing, maybe places we haven’t seen them before, but again the climate change, the food source all has a roll in that,” says Harris.

So perhaps this guy is a pioneer, and after watching him hunt, he may very well have found a home.

Moyano will certainly be on the lookout.

“It’s exciting to find rare species, of course,” says Moyano.

Moyano plans to show the full video he captured of the snowy egret during a film festival at the De Pere Cinema on September 11th.

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