Scientific Name: Ardea alba
Malay Name: Bangau Besar
Chinese Name: 西大白鹭
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
Identification: 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.
Habitat: Various inland and coastal wetlands, mangroves and mudflats.
Ecology/Behaviour: 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 (IUCN 3.1)
Location: Sungei Buloh, Mandai Mudflat, Seletar Mudflat, Kranji Marsh, Tuas South, Pulau Ubin (Chek Jawa) and any suitable patch of habitat.
Craig Robson (2011) A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia