Great Egret

Great Egret is otherwise known as The Great White Egret, Common Egret or Large Egret. Often seen as the one pictured below, standing on one leg only. The bird has a notable kink of its neck, curving it into an “S” shape when flying. Although we don’t see many land around Footsteps we know when they are flying overhead. They create a shadow like a sun has disappeared due to their massive wingspan.

©Jan Erik Roer | Great Egret
Great White Egret
©Jan Erik Roer | Great Egret

Where is the Great Egret found?

You will find Mr Egret a short walk from Footsteps. When breeding they nest at least three metres up in the trees close to a big lake or wetlands. You can walk there unaccompanied or if you would like a guided experience just ask Sarani Darboe or Lamin Bojang. They will be very happy to take you.

What does it look like?

It is a big bird indeed. Measuring up to 1 m tall, this heron can measure up to 104 cm in length and have a wingspan of up to 170 cm. Averaging one kilo, some of the bigger ones weigh in at as much as one and a half kilos.

What does it feed on?

They feed mainly on fish, frogs and sometimes even small mammals. A skilled hunter, It stands motionless waiting for its prey to come within striking distance of its spear-like bill.

Want to know an interesting Factoid?

Huge numbers were killed around the end of the 19th century. Their plumes were highly prized as a decoration for fancy hats. Since then numbers have recovered as a result of conservation. And because attitudes have changed somewhat about where the plumes are more beautiful.

How does it sound?

Not normally a vocal bird; it gives a low, hoarse croak when disturbed, and at breeding colonies, it often gives a loud croaking Cuk Cuk Cuk and higher-pitched squawks. Source Wikipedia

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