Great White Egret
The Great Egret also known as the Great White Egret or Common Egret or (now not in use) Great White Heron is a large egret. Distributed across most of the tropical and warmer temperate regions of the world, in southern Europe and Asia it is rather localized.
The Great Egret is a large bird with all-white plumage that can reach one meter in height and weigh up to 950 grams (2.1 lb). It is thus only slightly smaller than the Great Blue or Grey Heron. 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 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 birds and reptiles, 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. It is a common species, usually easily seen.
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