Adult Great White Egret (subspecies A. a. alba) at Pitsford Reservoir - December 2014
OTHER NAMES: Great Egret, Common Egret, Large Egret
Local Name (Spain): Garceta grande ("Great Egret")
Featured Subspecies: Ardea alba alba
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.
Subspecies: A. a. alba, A. a. egretta, A. a. melanorhynchos
- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A rare Winter migrant (35 individuals) and regular vagrant.
- A regular at Pitsford Reservoir in Winter, seen in multiple years.
SPAIN - A fairly common resident in appropriate habitat,- MADRID 2016 TRIP: A few birds seen at Arrocampo.
Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List