Egretta garzetta

General description: 

The Little Egret is a small white egret with dark grey-black legs, black bill and a bright yellow naked face. In the breeding season the plumage includes two ribbon-like head plumes, and abundant plumes on the back and breast.

Conservation status: 

Not Threatened.

Diagnostic description: 

The Little Egret is a small white egret with dark grey-black legs, black bill and a bright yellow naked face. In the breeding season the plumage includes two ribbon-like head plumes, and abundant plumes on the back and breast.

Behaviour: 

Size: 

56-65 cm, 350 g

Phylogeny: 

Taxonomy:

    Ardea Garzetta Linnaeus, 1766, in Oriente; restricted to Malalbergo, north eastern Italy. Races gularis/schistacea and dimorpha often considered to form two separate species. Forms superspecies with E. thula. Six subspecies recognized. (source: Handbook of the Birds of World)
Distribution: 

Subspecies and Distribution:

    *garzetta (Linnaeus, 1766) - Palearctic, from France, Spain and NW Africa E to Korea and Japan; scattered in rest of Africa, Middle East, India and SE Asia. *nigripes (Temminck, 1840) - islands of SE Asia and SW Pacific. *immaculata (Gould, 1846) - N & E Australia and regular in New Zealand. *gularis (Bosc, 1792) - coastal W Africa, from Mauritania to Gabon *schistacea (Ehrenberg, 1828) - coastal E Africa to Red Sea, Persian Gulf, W, S & SE India. *dimorpha Hartert, 1914 - Madagascar and outlying islands; also occurs on coast of E Africa, where has been recorded from S Kenya to N Mozambique.
Habitat: 

Frequents tidal mudflats, saltwater and freshwater wetlands, and mangroves. FOOD: Feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates, as well as fish and amphibians. The Little Egret hunts in shallow water by shuffling a foot to stir up aquatic prey, which it then takes in a lightning-fast movement. It also chases small fish with its wings raised.

Trophic strategy: 

Feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates, as well as fish and amphibians. The Little Egret hunts in shallow water by shuffling a foot to stir up aquatic prey, which it then takes in a lightning-fast movement. It also chases small fish with its wings raised.