French: Grande Aigrette German: Silberreiher Spanish: Garceta grande
Other common names:
Subspecies and Distribution
A. a. alba
Linnaeus, 1758 – Western Great Egret – C Europe E to C Asia (S to Iran), Russian Far East, NE China (Heilongjiang) and C Japan; winters SC Europe to N & C Africa, and Persian Gulf to S China and Korea.
A. a. modesta
J. E. Gray, 1831 – Eastern Great Egret – Indian Subcontinent E to SE Asia, SE & E China, S Japan and Korea, S through Sundas, Wallacea and New Guinea region to Australia (except arid interior) and New Zealand.
A. a. melanorhynchos
Wagler, 1827 – African Great Egret – Africa S of Sahara, Madagascar.
A. a. egretta
J. F. Gmelin, 1789 – American Great Egret – NW USA and SE Canada S through much of North and Central America and Caribbean to S Chile and SC Argentina (Santa Cruz).
80–104 cm; 700–1700 g; wingspan 140–170 cm. All-white heron, generally with all-yellow bill (sometimes with black tip), yellow eyes, greenish-yellow to... read more
Gives low-pitched “kraak” in flight, when disturbed and in threat, while high-pitched “eeeee, i,... read more
All kinds of wetlands, both inland and along coast, including marshes, floodplains, river margins,... read more
Food and feeding
Fish (e.g. Astyanax, Rhamdia, Cyprinodon, Floridichthys, Garmanella, Belonesox, ... read more
Season very variable depending on region and sometimes prolonged (e.g. Feb–Aug in Cuba), with birds in temperate regions generally... read more
Extensive post-breeding dispersal, for example across Australia (modesta). Populations of... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Intense persecution for plume trade in 19th and early 20th centuries led to crash in numbers and shrinking of range, but has now... read more
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