SEARCH THIS SITE

OzAnimals.com
Australian Wildlife

  Great Egret (Ardea alba)





Great Egret | Ardea alba photo
Great Egret

Image by Glenn E Wilson - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)

Great Egret | Ardea alba photo
Great Egret

Photograph copyright: Nickolay Tilcheff - all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Great Egret | Ardea alba photo
Great Egret

Image by Steve Ryan - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



GREAT EGRET FACTS

Description
The Great Egret is a large white water bird with yellow bill. The neck is about one and a half times as long as the body. It has dark grey or black legs. The bill becomes very dark almost black in the breeding season, and the skin on face becomes greenish. It also grows long plumes on its back during the breeding season. Immatures are similar to adults with darker tip to the bill.

Other Names
Large Egret

Size
80cm

Habitat
wetlands with shallow water, wet grasslands

Food
Feeds in shallow water by stabbing at prey with its long beak. It eats molluscs, crustaceans, frogs, insects

Breeding
The nest is a large platform of sticks built in a tree overhanging the water. Lays 2-6 eggs.

Range
common across Australia except most arid areas

distribution map showing range of Ardea alba in Australia

Map is from Atlas of Living Australia website at http://biocache.ala.org.au licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License




Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Ciconiiformes
Family:Ardeidae
Genus:Ardea
Species:alba
Common Name:Great Egret

Relatives in same Genus
  Cattle Egret (A. ibis)
  Intermediate Egret (A. intermedia)
  Pacific Heron (A. pacifica)
  Pied Heron (A. picata)
  Great-billed Heron (A. sumatrana)