Wildlife Tidbits

Identifying Characteristics

— Large white bird

— Long neck and legs

— Flies with it's neck retracted

— Thick and long yellow bill

— Black legs and feet

Habitat Characteristics

— Common in and around wetlands,

     rivers, larger creeks and sloughs,

     bays, lagoons and marshes

— Typically feeds in shallow water

— Also found feeding in open fields

— Nests in the tops of trees near water

Fun Facts

— The Great Egret has been known by seveal other names, including Common Egret, Great White Heron or

     Great White Egret, American Egret and Large Egret.

— These large birds can be up to 3-1/4 feet tall when standing.

— Adult Great Egrets can have a 5-1/2 to 7 foot wingspan.

— Despite their large appearance the average Great Egret tips the scales at only 2-1/4 pounds.

— Favorite foods include frogs, fish, crayfish, snakes, lizards, small mammals and insects.

— Great Egrets use their bills to spear their prey.

— Great Egrets are not noisy birds - you'll likley only hear them when they're disturbed or breeding.

— Frilly ornamental feathers off the back means that it's breeding season.

— Great Egrets nest in groups called colonies. A group of nesting birds is called a breeding colony. Although

     there can be a variety of reasons for nesting in a group, most feel it's a means of reducing predation.

— Both the male and female take care of the young after hatching.

— These migratory birds prefer warmer weather and will move during

     winter to find it.

— The average Great Egret life span is 15 years.


— Birds are in the class "Aves"

— The Great Egret is in the heron family "Ardeidae"

— It's genus is "Ardea"

— And the species name is "Ardea alba"

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