Great Egret

Photo by Dickson Images

The Great egret (Ardea alba) is a year-round resident frequently seen hunting along waterways or flying overhead, sometimes in flocks. It is a large bird standing as much as 38 inches tall with a wingspan of as much as 67 inches and with an average weight of just over 2 pounds.


They can be distinguished from the snowy egret by their larger size, yellow beaks, and black feet.


Feeding behavior usually involves standing very still on a bank or in shallow water waiting for unsuspecting prey to approach. It then strikes suddenly, spearing its meal with its long sharp beak, then swallowing the unfortunate criiter whole. They feed mostly on small fish, frogs, small mammals, reptiles, and insects.