Ardea alba

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Great White Egret

Great White Egret - Ardea alba

Habitat Near water (streams, lakes, marshes). They tend to prefer wooded swamps and wetlands.

Range As far south as Texas and Florida, as far north as Maine and Southern Canada, and as far west as the Great Lakes.

Description About 1 meter tall, completely white with a long yellow bill and dark gray-black legs.

Ecological Notes These elegant birds hunt very gracefully, slowly wading through water and striking at fish or invertebrates in the water.

Personal Information While birding at Pea Island, we saw one from the observation deck at the end of the boardwalk.

Journal Articles For information on sex determination in the great white egret, along with a close relative, the ibis, see:

http://journals.ohiolink.edu/ejc/pdf.cgi/Herring_Garth.pdf?issn=15244695&issue=v31i0002&article=298_sdftgeawi Herring G (Herring, Garth) et al. (2008). Sex determination for the Great Egret and White Ibis. WATERBIRDS, 31(2), 298-303.

To understand more about the effects of the tidal cycle on the populations of white egrets, see:

http://journals.ohiolink.edu/ejc/pdf.cgi/Raposa_Kenneth_B.pdf?issn=10926194&issue=v16i0002&article=209_eotsotbwbiri Raposa KB (Raposa, Kenneth B.) et al. (2009). Effects of Tide Stage on the Use of Salt Marshes by Wading Birds in Rhode Island. NORTHEASTERN NATURALIST, 16(2), 209-224.

Contributed by Jessica Parant - 2010

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