The Great Egret is a pretty common bird around here. I see them in canals around town, flying over the Expressway while I'm driving, and in the local state park where I bird most often. Even though they're extremely common, they're also extremely beautiful. When they're full sized, the white is really pure and they're just SO BIG.
Sometimes people mistake Great Egrets in flight for cranes. Look out for a bent neck instead of a straight one. Cranes fly with their neck straight out, but Egrets have them curled up.
I took this picture at the South Padre Island Boardwalk World Birding Center on October 8, 2012.