(Ardea alba)

Length:  95 cm Moderately Common

All feathers on Great Egrets are white. Their bills are yellowish-orange, and the legs black. The Great Egret is the tallest egret with a very long “s” shaped neck. Neck length is one and a half times that of the body length. In flight, the long neck is tucked in and the legs extend far beyond the tip of the short tail.

The Great Egret feeds in shallow water or drier habitats, feeding mainly on fish, frogs, small mammals, and occasionally small reptiles and insects, spearing them with its long, sharp bill most of the time by standing still and allowing the prey to come within its striking distance of its bill which it uses as a spear. It will often wait motionless for prey, or slowly stalk its victim.

Both sexes construct the nest, which is a large platform of sticks, placed in a tree over water. The previous years’ nest may often be re-used. Both sexes also incubate the eggs and care for the young (usually two or three).