Saturday, 29 January 2011

Great White Egret (Ardea alba)

OTHER NAMES: Great Egret, Common Egret, Large Egret
Latin Etymology: Ardea ("Heron") alba ("white")
Top: Adult Great White Egret (subspecies A. a. alba) at Pitsford Reservoir - December 2014
Bottom: Three Adult Great White Egret (subspecies A. a. modesta - Eastern Great Egret) at Sungeih Buloh, Singapore - February 2019

Featured Subspecies: Ardea alba alba & Ardea alba modesta
Weight: 700-1500g  /  Length: 80-104cm  /  Wingspan: 131-170cm
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern 

The great white egret in far far rarer than the increasingly common little egret, but it too is potentially becoming more common. It winters in the UK in very small numbers. It can easily be distinguished from the little egret by being far larger - more on the size of a Grey Heron - and having a large, dagger like yellow beak. This is probably a bird where in most places, you will have to specifically look for sightings of one to find it, although Pitsford reservoir has a small number of these birds Wintering seemingly annually now, making it a prime location to see them.  It is nonetheless a very widely distributed species globally, found on every continent except Antarctica and found in nearly any habitat where there is non-frozen water for it to feed in.

Related species:
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae 
Genus: Ardea 
Subspecies: A. a. alba, A. a. egretta, A. a. melanorhynchos, A. a. modesta

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A rare Winter migrant (35 individuals) and regular vagrant.
 - A regular at Pitsford Reservoir in Winter, seen in multiple years.
CAMBODIA Khmer: កុកគ្រោងធំ  ("Big ?")
A locally common resident.
 - CAMBODIA/SINGAPORE 2019 TRIP: Common at Prek Toal
JAPAN Japaneseダイサギ /  Dai-sagi ("Large Heron")
Locally common resident
 - KYOTO/OSAKA 2013 TRIP: A single bird at Kyoto.
SINGAPORE - An locally common resident.
 - CAMBODIA/SINGAPORE 2019 TRIP: Fairly common at Sungei Buloh
SPAIN - Spanish - Garceta grande ("Great Egret")
A fairly common resident in appropriate habitat,
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: A few birds seen at Arrocampo.

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

1 comment:

  1. Two nice ones there Alex - dipped both several times last year - hoping for better this year.