An egretta garzetta, or little egret, looks for a bite this afternoon, with Murano as a distant backdrop. Hunted extensively in the 19th century for their plumes--used to adorn hats--they became extinct in several regions of Europe. But since coming under the protection of conservation laws in 1950 they have made a comeback and are no longer considered in danger of extinction.
Though the above image was taken near the island of Certosa, they can now be seen in the city of Venice proper--sometimes on Riva degli Schiavoni, for example-- which a native Venetian told me was never the case when she was growing up 30 years ago. Back then you'd have to venture out into the lagoon to see them. But, she says, decreasing numbers of fish in the lagoon at large have forced the egrets to risk coming into closer contact with humans.