Little Egret

Scientific Name: Egretta garzetta

Malay Name: Bangau Kecil

Chinese Name: 白鹭

Range: Widespread throughout the Palearctic and Australia with most northerly populations winter to Africa, southern Europe, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, southern China and Southeast Asia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: garzetta, nigripes.

Local Subspecies: nigripes (uncommon), garzetta (common)

Size: 55-65 cm

Identification: Non-breeding adult shows all-white plumage, black legs (with yellow feet for garzetta) and mostly blackish bill. In transition to breeding plumage, has white plumes behind head. Juvenile resembles non-breeding adult but has greenish legs.

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

Habitat: Various freshwater and coastal wetlands.

Behaviour/Ecology: Less active feeder than Chinese Egret.

Local Status: Common migrant and rare visitor

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Any patch of suitable habitat such as Sungei Buloh, Lorong Halus, Mandai Mudflats and Seletar Dam.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Jan 01-Jan 07
Early date 01 Jul 2023
Late date 30 Jun 2023
While several oversummering birds are present year-round, most birds return north during the breeding season, so numbers are highest in the winter months.


BirdLife International. (2016). Egretta garzetta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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