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Eastern Great Egret

Long way to fall!

Download fact sheet (1.05MB PDF)

Considering how high they build them and how large their chicks grow, egret stick-nests are worryingly ramshackle.

Description: Eastern Great Egrets are elegant birds with long necks and thin brown legs. They are white all over with a yellow bill that turns black during the breeding season.

Diet: Eastern Great Egrets are carnivores, feeding mostly on fish but also insects, crustaceans and amphibians.

In the wild: The Eastern Great Egret is a solitary feeder that stands in the shallows and waits for long periods of time before snatching at prey.

Threats: Eastern Great Egrets were once hunted for their plumes (feathers) which were popular in ladies fashion in the 19th century. However, they are now protected and their numbers have increased significantly. They are still listed as an endangered species in Victoria.

Did you know?

Eastern Great Egrets build their nest up to 15 m off the ground, creating a platform of sticks to lay their eggs.

Precinct
Australian Wetlands
Other name
Large Egret, White Egret
Scientific name
Ardea modesta
Conservation status
Least Concern
Body length
70–90 cm
Weight
1 kg
Class
Bird
Incubation
25 days
Number of eggs
2–6
Distribution
North and South America, Africa, parts of Europe and Asia, and Australia wide
Habitat
Lakes, rivers, swamps and dams
Region
Africa
Asia
Australia
South America