|Copyright: Natley Prinsloo (Mamagolo2)
|Date Taken: 2011-09-17|
|Exposure: f/5.6, 1/2000 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2011-09-26 14:25|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|My next bird from my series of birds found at the Palabora Mining Company dams is the Great Egret.|
Enjoy and comments are welcome.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Great Egret (Ardea alba), also known as the Great White Egret or Common Egret, White Heron, or (now not in use) Great White Heron, is a large, widely-distributed egret. 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.
In flight 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.
It has a slow flight, with its neck retracted. This is characteristic of herons and bitterns, and distinguishes them from storks, cranes, ibises, and spoonbills, which extend their necks in flight.
The Great Egret is not normally a vocal bird; at breeding colonies, however, it often gives a loud croaking cuk cuk cuk.
The Great Egret feeds in shallow water or drier habitats, feeding mainly on fish, frogs, small mammals, and occasionally small reptiles and insects, spearing them with its long, sharp bill most of the time by standing still and allowing the prey to come within its striking distance of its bill which it uses as a spear. It will often wait motionless for prey, or slowly stalk its victim.
Though it might appear that they feed on the parasites of African buffaloes, they actually feed on leafhoppers, grasshoppers and other insects which are stirred up as buffaloes move about in water.
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