Post-Fledging Survival and Dispersal of Juvenile Reddish Egrets ( Egretta rufescens )

Bates, E., Koczur, L., Ballard, B., 2015. Waterbirds 38(4):401-406

The Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) is a species of conservation concern on an international scale, yet relatively little is known about its life history strategies and demographics. To estimate post-fledging survival and examine dispersal patterns/rates, Reddish Egrets (n = 30 fledglings) were monitored and marked with VHF radio transmitters in the Laguna Madre, Texas, in 2006. Overall daily survival rate was 0.78 (SE = 0.11). Reddish Egrets dispersed from their natal colony at 12–15 weeks after hatching, and the average distance traveled in the Laguna Madre ranged from 0 to 488 km. These results help fill a knowledge gap during this little-known time period of the Reddish Egret. Furthermore, these results show that the Laguna Madre is an important system during this critical stage of development as many of the juveniles remained in this lagoon through the duration of our 6-month study.