Great Egret

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.

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

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.


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

Craig Robson (2011) A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia