Great Egret

Other Names: Large Egret, White Egret
Scientific Name: Ardea alba
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Body Length: 70–90 cm
Weight: 1 kg
Incubation: 25 days
Number of eggs: 2–6

Distribution: North and South America, Africa, parts of Europe and Asia, and Australia wide.
Habitat: Lakes, rivers, swamps and dams.

Description: Great Egrets are elegant birds with long necks and thin brown legs. They are white all over with a yellow bill that turns black during the breeding season.

Diet: Great Egrets are carnivores, feeding mostly on fish but also insects, crustaceans and amphibians.

In the wild: The Great Egret is a solitary feeder that stands in the shallows and waits for long periods of time before snatching at prey.

Threats: Great Egrets were once hunted for their plumes (feathers) which were popular in ladies fashion in the 19th century. However, they are now protected and their numbers have increased significantly. They are still listed as an endangered species in Victoria.

At Perth Zoo: The Great Egret can be found in the Australia Wetlands exhibit.

Did You Know? Great Egrets build their nest up to 15 m off the ground, creating a platform of sticks to lay their eggs.

Download the Great Egret Fact Sheet (pdf).

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