Nicely exposed Victor, great details in the whites. IMO, would have preferred more space to the right instead of behind him (or try a vertical crop cutting out the branches on the left). Also might try rotating the image 2-3 deg clockwise, looks like he's falling over a little.
If you're ever in Toronto in the summer, I can point out a couple of parks where you can get fairly close to them, especially in late summer.
Sounds like a deal! Toronto late summer! In the meantime I dug out the original image, and re-edited as you suggested.
The two shots are below. While I understand negative space, I should perhaps review how I use it. In this case the tree was as important to me as the bird. Perhaps not the best conceptual idea. Let me know what you think.
What struck me about the original pose was the leaning back went nicely with the wind blown tuft of hair.
This kind of discussion is why I am a big fan of Nikonians (lots to learn and share)!
Like what you did with the crop Victor and rotating the image. Final touch might be to clone out the branches on bottom RH side. The tighter crop also allows you to appreciate the details in the egret's feathering. Feel free to contact me if you do make into Toronto.