Range/Geographical Distribution: Across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world including much of North and South America and Europe.
Habitat: Marshes, swamps, rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, tidal flats, and canals.
Similar Species: Wood stork, snowy egret, and white ibis.
Description: An all white bird with black legs and a yellow bill. During breeding season adults have long plumes on their backs.
Size: Length: 37-41” Wingspan: 51-57” Weight: 1000g
Food: Fish, amphibians, invertebrates, reptiles, other birds, and small mammals.
Breeding: Nests in colonies and produces three to five pale green/blue eggs laid on a platform of sticks in a tree or bush.
Predators: Adults have no non-human predators. Eggs and young fall prey to raccoons, crows, and vultures.
Conservation Status: Great egrets were threatened by plume hunters in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. They are now listed as least concern by IUCN. They currently face threats from habitat loss and human development.
Interesting Facts: The great egret is the symbol for the National Audubon Society, an organization dedicated to protecting birds and one of the oldest environmental societies.
On the Coast: The great egret lives along Georgia’s coast year-round. It is a long-lived species of bird and may live at least 23 years in the wild.