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Egret Little Egrets

Identify It >  Birds >   Little Egrets >

Scientific name:  Egretta garzetta

Size:  Wingspan up to 100cm

Distribution:  Can be seen in many parts of England and Wales, especially along the south and east coasts.  Large groups of Little Egrets can be seen at Chichester Harbour in West Sussex, Poole Harbour in Dorset, and Holkham in Norfolk.  During the winter months they can be seen at many other locations throughout the UK

Months seen:  All year round

Life Span: Maximum 9 years, more typically 5 years (source BTO)

Habitat:  Shallow water around lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams and estuaries

Food:  Fish, insects, frogs and snails

Special features:  Little Egrets stand about 50cm tall.  They have all white plumage, a long black bill and black legs with yellow feet.

These small herons can be seen all year round but numbers incease in autumn and winter as more birds arrive from Europe.

The feathers of the Little Egrets were very popular for decorating hats in the 19th century, and the birds were slaughtered for this purpose in their millions.  The subsequent reduction in the Little Egret population led to the formation of the RSPB in the late 1800's.

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