Population status

Snowy Egret
(Egretta thula)

With so few records in Canada, there are no reliable trend estimates for the Snowy Egret population relative to 1970. The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario confirmed the presence of one nest in Hamilton Harbour, Ontario in the 1980s (Cadman et al. 2007). The two Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlases (Erskine 1992, Sabine 2015) noted the presence of Snowy Egrets in one square in Nova Scotia (1986-1990), and one square in southern New Brunswick and another in Nova Scotia (2006-2010), but could not confirm breeding. The Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas confirmed nesting in one location (Whitewater Lake) in 2011, and noted the presence of birds in four other atlas squares in the southern part of the province (DeSmet 2018). To date, the Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas has documented possible breeding in one atlas square, though efforts are ongoing (Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas 2018). Data are insufficient to draw any conclusions about the change in the Canadian population relative to 1970. As such, a national population goal for the Snowy Egret has not yet been determined. Based on results from the Breeding Bird Survey, the population in the United States has shown a large increase since 1970. This is likely a reflection of the species' recovery following the end of the feather trade, which almost hunted the species to extinction.


Population goal and acceptable levels of variation

Species/groupGoalLower levelUpper level
Snowy EgretTo be determinedTo be determinedNot applicable

Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) - Canadian analysis

Additional information on: Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) - Canadian analysis

Table 1: Population trends by geographic area
Geographic areaTime Period Table 1 - footnote 1 Annual trend Table 1 - footnote 2 Limits
North America Select to view graph of the geographic area: North America 1970-2016; Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) - Canadian analysis1970-201620.53.4