Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Scientific name: Ardea alba

Did you know: The Great White Egret, once a rarity in Britain & Ireland, has seen a meteoric rise in numbers and is now a celebrated part of the avifauna!

What Do Great White Egrets Look Like? (how to identify them)

The Great White Egret is a majestic bird, boasting a pure white plumage that makes it a standout in wetlands. 

Larger than the Little Egret and comparable in size to the Grey Heron, it features black feet and a yellow beak, which turns black during the breeding season.

Differences Between Male And Female Great White Egrets

Males and females are visually similar, making them hard to distinguish in the field. The males are generally slightly larger and heavier, but these differences are subtle and can be challenging to spot.

What Do Great White Egrets Eat?

These elegant birds have a diet primarily consisting of fish, insects, and frogs. They are adept hunters, using their sharp beaks to spear prey with remarkable precision.

Where Do Great White Egrets Live? (inc. migration info)

Great White Egrets are versatile birds, inhabiting wetlands, marshes, and farmlands. They are found throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. In the UK, they were once rare but are now seen year-round, often alongside other herons.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Great White Egrets)

Typically silent, Great White Egrets emit a low, hoarse croak when disturbed. During the breeding season, their vocalisations include loud croaking and high-pitched squawks.

Fun Great White Egret Facts (kid friendly)

  • Great White Egrets can stand up to 1 metre tall.
  • They are part of the heron family but are often confused with storks.
  • In flight, their necks are retracted, forming an S-shape.
  • They are known to forage in shallow waters, spearing fish with their beaks.
  • The National Audubon Society chose the Great White Egret in flight as its symbol.

Great White Egret Video

Facts About The Great White Egret

Diet: Fish, insects and frogs, caught by spearing with its long, sharp beak.
Bird Family: Herons, storks and ibises
Scientific Name: Ardea alba

The Great White Egret Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December