Family Herons (Ardeidae)


Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes)


French: Aigrette de Chine German: Schneereiher Spanish: Garceta china
Other common names: Swinhoe's Egret

Herodias eulophotes


, 1860,

Amoy, China


Formerly thought to be a white morph of E. sacra. Monotypic.


Breeds on coasts of Russian Far East, N & S Korea, NE & E (formerly also SE) China coast; non-breeders range S to Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines, and occasionally E & N to Japan (Hokkaido) and Sakhalin.

Descriptive notes

65–68 cm; 390–540 g; wingspan 99 cm. All-white egret, with dusky-black bill becoming yellow to pink at base of mandible, pale yellow-white eyes, yellow-green,... read more


Very poorly known. The only described vocalization appears to be a guttural, croaking “gwa” that is... read more


Mainly coastal, in estuaries and bays, feeding in shallow water along margins of mangroves or on... read more

Food and feeding

Apparently mostly small fish, shrimps, crabs, but other recorded prey includes frogs and grasshoppers. Prey taken in shallow water, e.g. in... read more


Starts Apr–Jun, depending on colony, with young typically fledging in Jul–Aug. Normally in or beside colonies of other species... read more


Migratory, although some apparently remain as far N as South Korea in winter; probably also... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Total population previously estimated at c. 1000 pairs and more recently within the range 2500–9999 mature individuals, with no evidence of declines over... read more

Recommended citation

Martínez-Vilalta, A., Motis, A., de Juana, E. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 April 2020).