Great Egret

Scientific Name: Ardea alba
Malay Name: Bangau Besar
Chinese Name: 大白鹭

Found from North America, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Europe, Central Asia, Siberia, Indian subcontinent, China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia to Australia. More northerly populations winter to central America, southern Africa, southern Europe and Southeast Asia.

Polytypic. Subspecies are: alba, melanorhynchos, egretta, modesta.

Local Subspecies: modesta

Size: 85-102 cm

Plumage of non-breeding adult is all white with heavy yellow bill and black legs. Breeding adult has red legs and black bill. Distinguished from other white Egret species by longer and strongly kinked neck and pointed extension of facial skin (gape line) which extends beyond eye. Juvenile resembles non-breeding adult.

Similar looking species: Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Pacific Reef Heron, Chinese Egret, Eastern Cattle Egret

Habitat: Various inland and coastal wetlands, mangroves and mudflats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds on mostly fish, but will also take amphibians (frogs), aquatic invertebrates (insects, crayfish), and reptiles (snakes).

Local Status: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Sungei Buloh, Mandai Mudflat, Seletar Mudflat, Kranji Marsh, Tuas South, Pulau Ubin (Chek Jawa) and any suitable patch of habitat.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

BirdLife International. (2019). Ardea alba. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.