BIRD OF THE WEEK — GREAT EGRET — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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BIRD OF THE WEEK

GREAT EGRET

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Ardea alba
POPULATION: 200,000 North America; 2.2 million world.
TREND: Stable
HABITAT: Fresh and saltwater wetlands, wooded swamps.

The graceful, all-white Great Egret stands over 3 feet tall, with a lissome, S-curved neck, dagger-like yellow bill, and long black legs. This cosmopolitan wading bird is a common sight in wetlands around the world, where it is also known as the Common, American, or Great White Egret, or White Heron.

The Great Egret becomes even more beautiful in its breeding plumage, developing long, delicate plumes that the bird fans during displays. These lacy feathers are known as aigrettes, a French word that is the source of the Great Egret’s English common name.

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