Thursday, May 30, 2013

Great Egret

Great Egret (Ardea alba)

Order: Ciconiiformes     Family: Bitterns, Herons and Egrets (Ardeidae)

The Great Egret is also known as the Great White Egret or the Common Egret. It is a little smaller than the Great Blue Heron, 94-104 cm (37-41 in) compared to 117-132 cm (46-52 in) for the Great Blue Heron. The bill is normally yellow except during the breeding season it may appear orange, as this one does. Also note the feather plumes extending back beyond the tail. These are also found during the breeding season.

The Great Egret feeds on small fish of course, but also on frogs, crayfish, snakes, and insects. They generally nest in colonies and build their nests using sticks and twigs fairly high in the trees. Both sexes incubate the eggs.

The National Audubon Society uses the Great Egret as their symbol.

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