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All About Birds EnchantedLearning.com
Great Egret
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The Great Egret (also known an the Common Egret) is a large wading bird found worldwide. It is the second-largest member of the heron family in America (second only to the Great Blue Heron). It lives in mudflats, tidal shallows and marshes. It winters in the south down to Colombia. The Great Egret flies with slow wing beats and has a deep, croaking call. The scientific name of the Great Egret is Casmerodius albus (genus and species).

Anatomy: The Great Egret is over 3 ft (1 m) tall and has a wingspan of up to 55 inches (140 cm). Its body has white feathers, the neck is S-shaped, the bill is bright yellow, and the long legs and the feet are black. Males and females are similar in appearance.

Diet: The Great Egret eats fish, lizards, frogs, crayfish, small rodents, and insects. It often hunts in shallow water, usually impaling the prey on its long, sharp bill.

Eggs and Nests: The Great Egret's nest is a platform of twigs and sticks that is built in trees or on the ground. Females lay 3-5 pale blue-green eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time). The incubation period of the eggs is 23-26 days. Both parents care for the young, feeding them frogs, fish, and snakes.



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