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):


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.