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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Great Egret (Ardea alba)




Great Egret | Ardea alba photo
Great Egret, Birding Center, Port Aransas, Texas

Photograph by Alan And Elaine Wilson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

GREAT EGRET FACTS

Description
The Great Egret is a large white water bird with yellow bill. The neck is about one and a half times as long as the body. It has dark grey or black legs. The bill becomes very dark almost black in the breeding season, and the skin on face becomes greenish. It also grows long plumes on its back during the breeding season. Immatures are similar to adults with darker tip to the bill.

Other Names
Large Egret

Size
90cm - 100 cm

Environment
wetlands with shallow water, wet grasslands

Food
Feeds in shallow water by stabbing at prey with its long beak. It eats molluscs, crustaceans, frogs, insects

Breeding
The nest is a large platform of sticks built in a tree overhanging the water. Lays 2-6 eggs.

Range
found in south eastern Canada, most of the United States except Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado region. Also found in Mexico and most of South America

Classification
Class:Aves
Order:Ciconiiformes
Family:Ardeidae
Genus:Ardea
Species:alba
Common Name:Great Egret


Relatives in same Genus
  Great Blue Heron (A. herodias)