The Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia or Mesophoyx intermedia) is also known as the Median Egret, or Yellow-Billed Egret. It is a medium-sized egret found in the wetlands of Asia, Africa, and Australia. It is a member of the heron family.
The Intermediate Egret has all white feathers, and a yellow beak (which may turn red or black in the breeding season). It has black legs and feet.
It grows to 72 centimetres (28 inches) tall, with a wingspan up to 115 centimetres (45 inches).
It flys slowly, with its neck retracted into an S-shape (not out-stretched). Storks, cranes, spoonbills, and ibises fly with their necks out-stretched, but egrets, herons, and bitterns fly with their heads retracted into their neck.
It is a wetland bird. It is a wading bird – a wader. The Intermediate Egret likes habitats such as lakes, rivers, canals, ponds, lagoons, marshes and floodplains.
The Intermediate Egret feeds in shallow water on fish, frogs, crabs, worms, small reptiles, and insects. It stalks its prey.
The Intermediate Egret lives in colonies. Pairs mate for life. Females lay 2-5 blue-green eggs in a stick nest made by the male. Both parents sit on the eggs for 21-25 days before they hatch. Both parents feed the chicks. The chicks can fly after about 6 weeks.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM