Little Egret

From Dry Tropics Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Egretta garzetta

Status: Common - Least concern


Size 55-65cm.

Fine, small, all white egret. Long neck, black legs. Slender bill always black with part-yellow base and bright yellow facial skin. Breeding plumage: two long, fine plumes trailing from the back of the head with fine lacy plumes on breast, and over the back.

Feeding Habits

Feed on small fish, crustaceans, aquatic insects and other small water creatures. Usually forage in shallow open waters, swamps, billabongs, mudflats and mangroves. The only egret that runs about when feeding, lifting its wings to startle prey. Sometimes rakes the water with a foot.


Breed in colonies, often with other waterbirds in trees over fresh water, or in mangroves. Nest is a rough platform of sticks up to 45cm across. Parents share nest building, incubation and care for the young.

Traditional Owner Values

Manbarra Traditional Owners - Language Name : Idalia

Meaning : Food resources are plentiful

Story - When there are egrets it means that seafood is plentiful, especially julguile and coucal shells.

Places to Look

Swamps, billabongs, shallow pools and tidal flats.


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page

© Birdlife Townsville 2008

© Birdlife Townsville 2008

This is a legacy website. Content is not being updated but is kept as an archive.
Updated NRM information is now held in the NQ Dry Tropics NRM Information Portal at
while corporate information about NQ Dry Tropics is held on our main website at
NQ Dry Tropics Website