Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Great Egret: what’s the difference?

What’s the difference between the Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, and Great Egret?

The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), the Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia or Mesophoyx intermedia), and the Great Egret (Ardea alba melanorhynchos or Casmerodius albus melanorhynchos) have all white plumage (feathers).

The Little Egret has a black beak. The Intermediate Egret has a shorter, thicker yellow beak that may turn red or black in the breeding season.  The Great Egret has a long, thin, yellow beak that may become darker in the breeding season.

The Little Egret does not have a black line underneath its eye. The breeding adult Intermediate Egret has a black line underneath its eye, but it does not extend past the eye. The Great Egret has a fine black line from its beak to beyond its eye (like eye-liner underneath the eye).

Continue reading “Little Egret, Intermediate Egret, Great Egret: what’s the difference?”

African Great Egret

The Great Egret (Ardea alba) is also known as the Common Egret, Large Egret, Great White Egret or Great White Heron. It is a large, common egret found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe. It is a member of the heron family. It is closely related to pelicans.

The African Great Egret (Ardea alba melanorhynchos or Casmerodius albus melanorhynchos) is found in the wetlands of tropical Africa.

The African Great Egret has all white feathers, and a long, thin, yellow beak, which may become darker in the breeding season. It has a fine black line from its beak to beyond its eye (like eye-liner underneath the eye). It has black legs and feet.

Continue reading “African Great Egret”

Intermediate Egret

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.

Continue reading “Intermediate Egret”

African Little Egret

The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) is a small, common egret found in Asia, Africa, Europe, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand. It is a member of the heron family.

The African Little Egret (Egretta garzetta garzetta) is found in the wetlands of tropical eastern and southern Africa.

The African Little Egret has all white feathers, and a long, thin, black beak. It has black legs and yellow-soled feet. In the breeding season, it has two long plumes (feathers) on the nape (neck) that form a crest. These plumes are about 15 centimetres (6 inches) long, and are pointed and very narrow.

Continue reading “African Little Egret”

Cattle Egret

The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a type of heron, rather than a true egret in the genus Egretta. It is native to Asia, Africa, and Europe. It is related to ibis. The term bubulcus means herdsmen (cattle men).

It is a white bird with orange-buff feathers and red legs and beak when it is breeding. When it is not breeding it is white with a yellow beak and grey legs. It is stocky with a short neck, so that it looks hunched. It has a height of 46-56 centimetres (18-22 inches) and a wingspan of 88-96 centimetres (35-38 inches).

It likes to be near cattle and other large mammals, such as buffalo, to catch insects that live near the cattle. The cattle egret removes ticks and fleas from cattle.

Continue reading “Cattle Egret”