Saturday, 29 January 2011

Great White Egret (Ardea alba)

OTHER NAMES: Great Egret, Common Egret, Large Egret
Latin Etymology: Ardea ("Heron") alba ("white")
Adult Great White Egret (subspecies A. a. alba) at Pitsford Reservoir - December 2014

Local Name (Spain): Garceta grande ("Great Egret")
Featured Subspecies: Ardea alba alba
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.

Related species:
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae 
Genus: Ardea 
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 Notes: ArkiveBirdForum 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.