French: Aigrette sacrée German: Riffreiher Spanish: Garceta de arrecife
Other common names:
J. F. Gmelin
Subspecies and Distribution
E. s. sacra
(J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – coastal SE Asia E to Japan, and E through Greater and Lesser Sundas to Philippines, New Guinea, islands of SW & S Pacific (as far as French Polynesia), and coasts of Australia and New Zealand.
E. s. albolineata
(G. R. Gray, 1859) – New Caledonia and Loyalty Is.
58–66 cm; 330–700 g; wingspan 90–100 cm. Polymorphic, with white and dark grey morphs; former has pure, all-white plumage, albeit sometimes with a few dark... read more
Vocalizations not well described and frequently silent, but gives an “ork” or deep “gruk” while... read more
Typically coastal, especially rocky shores, coral reefs and offshore islands; also estuaries,... read more
Food and feeding
Mainly small crabs and fish (e.g. mudskippers, gobies, blennies and damselfishes) up to 15 cm long; less often molluscs, insects, lizards;... read more
In India, May–Jul, Sept; in Malaysia May, Jun and Nov; in W Java, Sept–Apr; in New Zealand, Sept–Dec, in New Caledonia,... read more
Sedentary, with some post-breeding dispersal: chick ringed at Pulau Dua (W Java) recovered 40 km... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Relatively common, abundant in many islands of SW Pacific, with no evidence for recent changes in abundance, e.g., on Tahiti (French... read more
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