“John James Audubon, the pre-eminent 19th-century painter of birds, considered the snowy egret to be one of America’s surpassingly beautiful species”. (Wikipedia)
Actually these photographs were taken in the swamp where Audubon observed the mating Egrets. Mathew Brady, who would later become famous for his photographs of the American Civil War photographed this plantation swamp.
The Audubon drawings of this bird saved them from extinction. They had been hunted for these same beautiful feathers to be used in hats. It was banned after the drawings became a symbol of the Audubon Society and drew attention to the problem.
These birds have been coming here every spring for a very long time.