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Eastern Great Egret (with breeding plumage)

Ardea alba modesta


The Eastern Great Egret's overall plumage is white, and, for most of the year, when not breeding, the bill and facial skin are yellow. The feet are dark olive-grey or sooty black, as are the legs. During the breeding season, the bill turns mostly black and the facial skin becomes green. Also at this time, long hair-like feathers (nuptial plumes) hang across the lower back, and the legs become pinkish-yellow at the top. Young Great Egrets are similar to the adults, but have a blackish tip to the bill.


This specimen was spotted in a garden by a car park. There is a large lake on the other side of the complex which is a favourite breeding ground for many bird species.


The subspecies is protected in Australia under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. This sub-species of Great Egret ranges from Pakistan, India and parts of Asia through to Oceania.

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Spotted on Nov 12, 2013
Submitted on Nov 12, 2013

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