Photo by Keith Ladzinski @ladzinski / A nesting great egret perches over two chicks setting off the dinnertime screech. These birds are near fledge size and require almost round-the-clock feeding by both parents. Once full grown, they’re roughly two feet tall (more than half a meter), with a wingspan that can exceed 4 1/2 feet (1.4 m). In the early 20th century, these birds were hunted to near extinction for their beautiful feathers, used in a variety of popular hats at the time. The species has recovered, and should be considered a cautionary tale of the toll a fashion trend can have on a species.