Shared Moment: An Egret Bound for the Heavens

A photographer captures a bird's angelic grace

  • Photograph by Nilza Rivera
  • PhotoZone
  • Nov 28, 2016

WHEN AN ETHEREAL GREAT EGRET TOOK FLIGHT, amateur nature photographer Nilza Rivera found "her angel." Rivera and her niece, Jashly, were standing on a pier near a bridge over Florida's Tampa Bay when they spotted the bird walking along the bridge's span. Jashly, who had survived a horrible accident, wanted to learn photography, so Rivera was teaching her—and soon captured this magical moment. "I always say this was the angel that saved my niece," Rivera says. "I knew it was something special."

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This lovely photograph, and countless other images that have run in our magazine, came to us through our photo contest. The 46th annual contest opens January 9, 2017. Submit your best work and see if your image will one day appear on this page. The Photo Contest is now closed, but to learn more about it please visit

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