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”

Black-Crowned Night Heron

The Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax nycticorax) is a medium-sized nocturnal wetland bird from southern Europe to Africa.

The Black-Crowned Night Heron is plump, short-necked, and short-legged. It is white with a black crown (with two long white feathers), and black back. Its wings, rump, and tail are grey. Its eyes are large and red, with yellow-cream eye-rings. It has a large, grey beak, and pale-yellow legs and feet.

Continue reading “Black-Crowned Night Heron”

Goliath Heron

The Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath) is also known as the Giant Hero because it is the world’s largest heron. It is a very large wading bird found in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a few colonies in Asia.

The Goliath Heron is medium-grey with chestnut coloured feathers. Its head and crest, face, and the back and side of the neck are chestnut brown. Its chin, throat, and chest are white with black streaks across the neck and upper chest. Its beak, legs, and feet are black and its eyes are yellow.

Continue reading “Goliath Heron”

What’s the difference between the Grey Heron and the Black-Headed Heron?

What is the difference between the Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) and the Black-Headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala).

The Grey Heron and the Black-Headed Heron are both large wading birds from the wetlands of Africa.

The Grey Heron has light grey feathers, whereas the Black-Headed Heron has darker grey feathers.

Continue reading “What’s the difference between the Grey Heron and the Black-Headed Heron?”

Striated Heron

The Striated Heron (Butorides striata) also known as the Green-Backed Heron, is a small hunched wetlands bird from the tropical regions of the world, mainly in the southern hemisphere, including west Africa, Japan, Australia, and South America.

The Striated Heron is greenish grey, with a white underbelly, a black cap, and short yellow legs. Its neck is short which makes it looked hunched over. It has a long beak, that has a black upper mandible and a yellow lower mandible.

It can grow to 40-48 centimetres (16-19 inches) tall.

Continue reading “Striated Heron”

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”