Great Egret

Great Egret (Egretta alba) Birds of Tobago
Great Egret (Egretta alba)
Great Egret

Order : Ciconiiformes
Ciconiiformes compromise five to six families of large, long legged wading birds with long bills. They primarily occupy fresh or shallow saline water where they feed on fish, crabs, crustaceans, insects and carrion. Most nest in trees, though some nest in swamps or on the ground. the young are altrical (born bare and blind and dependant on parents for food) Most species are colonial, but the use of sound is limited or uncommon, the birds relying more on displays and rituals. Most are strong, often elegant flyers.

Family : Herons (Ardeidae)
The family Ardeidae is made up of Herons, Egrets and Bitterns where Egrets are considered simply as white Herons with decorative plumes and not a biologically separate group. Herons fly with their necks retracted not outstretched like some other members of the Ciconiiformes order. Typically Herons feed in shallow waters or marshes taking fish, frogs, crabs, and even small birds or mammals. They are widely distributed around the world but are most common in the tropics. The nest is made of twigs, usually placed in trees near water, and usually grouped in colonies called Heronries. Herons are sub divided into three groups. Typical Herons which include the genus Egratta, feed during the day. Night Herons, which are usually shorter legged and thick billed, are more active at dusk and during the night, and Tiger Herons which are six species of the more primitive Herons.

Name : Great Egret (Egretta alba)
Length : 85 - 107 cm ( 34 - 42 in )
Local Names : Gaulin

Also know as Great white Egret, common Egret and White Heron ( all Egretta alba). Though it should not be confused with the Great white Heron (Ardea occidentalis) which is a white morph of the Great Blue Heron found in Florida. The Great Egret is distinctive from other similar species by it’s long yellow bill and black legs, and it’s neck is retracted during flight. It is a wading bird found in most tropical and warmer temperate parts of the world, although it is very local in southern Europe and Asia. It is partially migratory, with some individuals moving south from areas with cold winters. Although generally a very successful species it is threatened with extinction in New Zealand, and at the turn of the 19th century was heavily hunted in for it’s decorative white plumes. Today, as with all wetland birds, it’s existence is threatened by extensive habitat loss. The Great Egret feeds in shallow waters and comparatively dry areas spearing fish, frogs or insects with it’s long sharp bill. It will often wait motionless for prey, or slowly stork it’s prey. The species breeds colonially in trees or other swamp vegetation, building a large nest of twigs or reeds in which 2 - 5 pale blue eggs are laid.

#Great Egret Egretta alba Egrets Herons Ardeidae Ciconiiformes wading birds big birds tall birds bird birds of Tobago

Bird identification pictures

Great Egret (Egretta alba) close up of head photo

Great Egret (Egretta alba) wading birds

Great Egret (Egretta alba) white heron