The Little Egret is an elegant breed of small heron which are always found in the warmer parts of the world. The birds are well-known for its white plumages. The scientific name of the species is Egretta Garzetta. The little egret is the member of the family Ardeidae and come under the order Pelecaniformes. The birds mostly prefer to live in the wetlands, lakes, along rivers, and estuaries in the regions of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The Egretta Garzetta bird has the most attractive white plumes on the crest, body and chest. The slender bills are in black color with dark grey-black legs, and the foot of the species is yellow. The length of the bird is around 55–65 cm and weight is about 350–550 g. The International Union for Conservation of Nature marked this species as least concern, and it was not categorized globally. They categorized it as least concern bird because of its wide distribution and large total population.
Scientific name: Egretta garzetta
Weight: 310 g
Conservation status: Least Concern (Population increasing)
Higher classification: Egrets
Species of Little Egret
The Little Egret has come from the genus Egretta. According to the research, scientists have considered that some species of heron are currently accepted as a subspecies of Little Egret. The three subspecies are mentioned and described below.
E. g. garzetta
In the year 1766, the species was first described as a subspecies of Little Egret by Linnaeus. These birds are mostly located in the range of Europe, Africa, and most parts of Asia.
E. g. nigripes
Scientist Temminck found this species in 1840. You can find this breed in various parts of Indonesia east to New Guinea.
E. g. immaculata
E. g. immaculata is the third species of Little Egret and widely spread in the areas of Australia and New Zealand.
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Interesting Facts about Little Egret
- Most of the northern and European Little Egret birds are permanent residents because they like to live in warmer locations, and during winter they migrate to Africa and the southern parts of Asia.
- It is a friendly bird and mostly lives as small flocks. These birds won’t tolerate when other birds try to come closer to their food boundary of individuals, but sometimes they may distribute their food according to the abundance.
- This species handles various methods to procure their food, they run angrily on water and disturb the small fish by shuffling their feet in shallow water. Apart from that, it stands still and grabs its prey. They also make use of the opportunities created by cormorants or humans to catch the fish.
- The main food of the Little Egret is fish, but they also eat small reptiles, mammals, crustaceans, molluscs, insects, spiders and worms.
- The Little Egrets are very silent birds when they are away from their territory, but sometimes they make sounds like hoarse “kgarrk” or a long “aaahk” while fighting in their feeding area.
- When flying the bird will fold its neck into the shoulders, and the feet and legs move out behind the body. This bird can easily take off from water as it has mighty long and broad wings.
- Both male and female birds jointly build their nests. The Male bird brings the materials and female will construct the nest.
- They build their nest in the ground, reedbeds and top of the tree above 20 m high. The nest of the birds are mostly situated near the flooded area, woodlands and in marsh vegetation.
- The mating season of the Little Egret bird is between March and June in Palearctic. The Female birds lay 3 to 4 greenish-blue eggs and incubate for 20 – 25 days. Then within 40 – 45 days, the young birds can start to fly.
Little Egret Images
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