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Great egret

Ardea alba


The Great Egret is a large bird with all-white plumage that can reach one meter in height, weigh up to 950 grams (2.1 lb) and a wingspan of 165 to 215 cm (65 to 85 in). It is thus only slightly smaller than the Great Blue or Grey Heron (A. cinerea). Apart from size, the Great Egret can be distinguished from other white egrets by its yellow bill and black legs and feet, though the bill may become darker and the lower legs lighter in the breeding season. In breeding plumage, delicate ornamental feathers are borne on the back. Males and females are identical in appearance; juveniles look like non-breeding adults. It is a common species, usually easily seen.


Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world, in southern Europe it is rather localized. In North America it is more widely distributed, and it is ubiquitous across the Sun Belt of the United States and in the rainforests of South America. It is sometimes confused with the Great White Heron in Florida, which is a white morph of the closely related Great Blue Heron (A. herodias). Note, however, that the name Great White Heron has occasionally been used to refer to the Great Egret.


Saw this while eating dinner with my family

1 Species ID Suggestions

Hema 8 years ago
the Great Egret
Ardea alba Great Egret

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Ava T-B
Ava T-B 7 years ago

Wait! Why does a snowy egret accompany a great egret?

Jake Barnes
Jake Barnes 8 years ago

I'm pretty certain now , that's cool

Jake Barnes
Jake Barnes 8 years ago

It was a while back but I think I actually do remember seeing a smaller white bird, that's interesting though

Hema 8 years ago

They are not as nervous like some other birds. Usually a Snowy Egret accompanies this bird,when ever i spot it. did you see a little white egret with this bird?

Jake Barnes
Jake Barnes 8 years ago

Thank you, that was what got my attention, stayed like that for a while too

Hema 8 years ago

very elegant bird.

Jake Barnes
Spotted by
Jake Barnes

Texas, USA

Spotted on Dec 24, 2010
Submitted on Apr 5, 2012

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