I traveled up to Thompson, Illinois along the Mississippi River. It was a beautiful day and there were lots of birds out and about. One of them was this great egret. Great egrets are tall wading birds with long necks. They have yellow dagger-like beaks they use to jab fish, frogs and other small aquatic animals. Egrets live in the shallows of both fresh water and salt water and nest in trees. Because they were hunted almost to extinction in the late nineteenth century, great egrets were one of the first subjects of conservation laws.