They're large and white with spectacular plumage pompadours and they make otherworldly sounds like ET. Snowy egrets are flocking to the Palo Alto Baylands this spring, building nests high in the trees.
Black-crowned herons with bright ruby-colored eyes are also nesting in large numbers in the trees near the north side of the duck pond. The birds are large and visible without binoculars, but bringing a pair enables visitors to see them in detail and perhaps catch a glimpse of chicks in the large nests. Look for the long white "rat tail" plumage hanging down the back of the herons' heads.