Photo: Great egret takes off like a boss

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Our photo of the day comes from Emigrant Lake, Oregon.

Is it any wonder that the species Ardea alba is known as the great egret? Although magnificent egret may have been more accurate. Just look at this beauty photographed by Mark Heatherington. With a wingspan of almost 5 feet in length, witnessing a take off like this must have been awesome. Another amazing thing about those wings: They've got power. With just two wingbeats per second, their cruising speed is around 25 miles an hour. For comparison, a hummingbird beats it wings up to 80 times per second!

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