I found this male great egret returning to his nest with a stick. Each year, beginning in March along the Gulf Coast, males of this species congregate in rookeries. They begin building nests as a way to attract females. Once a couple pairs up, the female will guard the nest while the male goes out and finds more sticks to complete the nest. When the male returns to the nest with new sticks, the female will take them from him and weave the stick into the nest in a way that she finds comfortable. Ultimately the nests wilreach three feet wide and a foot deep.