Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Day 294 - Greatly Wonderful and Excellent Great White Egret

Great White Egret (Ardea alba) - thanks to Dawn Balmer
Hey everyone today's Day 294 and as you know I have recently been to Birdfair and when I was there on the first day there was a huge traffic jam on the way in so we decided to leave early to avoid the jams on the way out so we thought we would do a bit of Birdwatching at Rutland Water Rutland Wildlife Trust reserve. Before we even got out of the visitor centre we were told that there was a relatively rare Great-White Egret just on the other side of the lake. It was quite far away so my camera wasn't very good for pictures but thanks to @_ieuan and @DEBalmer I've got a couple of good ones. I'm very grateful to them as I had written my whole post before I realised my pics were not that good!

So what did I find out about these wonderful birds, here are the facts:

  • It seems they are resident in the Southern hemisphere, but not Antarctica, but they only breed just above the equator.
Another one from Dawn
  • The reason I say where they live in the world is because they aren't normally in the UK. The RSPB doesn't even have a map of where they live here!
  • They don't have any status in the UK probably because either they have been introduced here, or there isn't enough to actually do an assessment on. Globally they don't seem to be a threatened species.
  • What I do know about them, though, is that the Great-White Egret population has risen in the last few years and they are most common in South-East England, as well as East Anglia.
  • Another thing I know is that they are very rare here and there are only 35 wintering birds here in the UK! That's not very many!
Much better than mine!
  • They look much like the Little Egret, as the name suggests. The way to tell them apart in Summer is to look for the Greater's Black feet over the Little's Yellow.
  • Also, Greats are much larger, that of a Grey Herons size. As well as this, the beak when they are in Juvenile and Non-Breeding plumage is yellow.
  • I guess it might be because they are a similar size to a Heron that their latin name means white heron.
  • Because of the slaughter of these birds for their plumes, the Society for the Protection of Birds was formed, which, 15 years later, received a royal warrant and because the RSPB.
  • They are 94 cm long and they have a 155cm wingspan. Both Male and Female birds weigh about 870g.
  • It seems they are adaptable and will eat insects, fish in the wet season and small mammals in the dry season.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. Lovely birds and lovely captures Zach! - Tasha

  2. Hi Zach! I've just found your blog and I must say, it's very impressive! I was really impressed by your knowledge when I read this post. I am 13 years old and I'm also very passionate about wildlife. Here's my blog about wildlife: