Little Egret

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Little Egret
Little Egret
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Ciconiiformes
Family:Ardeidae
Genus:Egretta
Species:E. garzetta
Binomial name
Egretta garzetta
(Linnaeus, 1766)

The Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, is a small white heron. It is the Old World counterpart to the very similar New World Snowy Egret.

Shaggy Plumes
Enlarge
Shaggy Plumes

Adults have a slim black bill and long black legs with yellow feet. In breeding season, adults have shaggy plumes.

They breed in large inland wetlands and coastal wetlands in warm temperate parts of Europe, Asia and Africa. They nest in colonies, often with other wading birds, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs.

In warmer locations, some are permanent residents; northern populations, including all European birds, migrate to Africa and southern Asia. They may wander north after the breeding season, which presumably has led to this egret's range expansion. It now breeds in the Bahamas and in Great Britain, where it was regarded as rare until the late twentieth century but is now commonly sighted.

These birds stalk their prey in shallow water, often running or shuffling their feet. They may also stand still and wait to ambush prey. They eat fish, crustaceans, and insects.

At one time, the plumes of the Little Egret were in demand for decorating hats. Hunting for this purpose reduced the population of the species to dangerously low levels. Now endangered species laws protect the little egret, and the population has rebounded strongly.

A picture of little egret

Template:Commonsbg:Малка бяла чапла de:Seidenreiher fr:Aigrette garzette ja:コサギ pl:Czapla nadobna sl:Mala bela čaplja zh:白鹭

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