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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Egret: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

One of the interesting egret facts is that they have beautiful white plumes.

An egret is a wading bird species with white plumes, which belong to the family Ardeidae. It is the same family, which includes other birds like bitterns, herons, night-herons, and so on. The birds of this family have curved necks and a long bill. An egret has similar bodily features, with snowy white plumes and extensive wingspans which exceed five feet. These birds are found in colonies on the continents like North America, Asia, and even Africa. Often the term aigrette is used to denote these birds, which is used to indicate their beautiful plumes.

This bird often builds its nest on the top of trees. The breeding population of these birds varies largely according to the species. Certain subspecies like the reddish egret are already under threat. This makes their conservation much more important. These birds are largely threatened by humans, and they have been hunted extensively in the past.

Included in this article are information such as egret color, blue egret bird facts, egret symbolism, heron vs egret, and so on.

For more relatable content, check out these snowy egret facts and reddish egret facts for kids.

Egret Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an egret?

Egrets are species of birds that have colorful plumes. It is a brightly colored bird with a long bill.

What class of animal does an egret belong to?

Egret birds belong to the family Ardeidae, which is also the family of herons. It belongs to the Aves class.

How many egrets are there in the world?

The exact count of egret bird populations is unknown. But these birds can be commonly seen to be nesting near shores, and you can spot their nest on a tree top.

Where does an egret live?

Egrets are species of colorful birds with bright plumes. The most common habitat or breeding ground of these birds are marshes, wetlands, and ponds. They can be easily spotted in their nesting grounds around a saltwater or freshwater lake.

What is an egret's habitat?

Egret birds can be commonly seen to be living in colonies. Their nests can be seen on top of trees. There are many species of this bird and found on almost every continent. Their distributions ranges from Africa to Asia and in a few parts of Europe. Great egrets are common in North America, Australia or Africa. In these continents, a great egret can be seen in wooded swamps as well.

Who do egrets live with?

Egrets are birds that can be seen in colonies. They build their nests on the top of the trees and survive in large colonies.

How long does an egret live?

Egret is a wading bird, which can survive for 10 - 15 years. In the wild, a great egret can survive up to 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The process of breeding in all egret bird species is similar. These birds are monogamous but seasonally, and their breeding season begins in April. Great egrets usually stay with their mates throughout the breeding season. They lay 3 - 4 eggs, from which their young ones' hatch. These young birds are known as chicks, and both parents take equal care of their young ones.

What is their conservation status?

The status of conservation of egrets varies according to species. Great egret Ardea alba has a conservation status of 'Least Concern', while the Chinese egret has been tagged 'Vulnerable'. This indicates that the population of great egrets is stable.

Egret Fun Facts

What do egrets look like?

Egrets have a long and curved neck, with a long bill.

Most of the Egret bird species look quite similar, with a long bill and curved neck. They have extensive wingspan, over 5 ft (1.5 m). They have lace-like plumes which are white. It is males who develop such feathers during the breeding season. The appearance varies slightly according to the various species, but all the birds are totally white in color and often resemble herons. During the breeding season, a great egret develops ornamental plumes. Young egret birds look quite similar to the adult ones.

How cute are they?

An egret bird, which is white in color, is cute to look at. The great egrets are especially cute because of their snowy white feathers.

How do they communicate?

Egret birds which are white in color, have various types of communication. Great egrets are usually vocal and use harsh sounds. While they defend their territory, a great egret will use a sharp yelling noise.

How big is an egret?

The range of size of egret birds is between 33-40 in (84-102 cm). This makes them at least five times larger than a house sparrow.

How fast can an egret fly?

The top speed of egrets or great egrets is 31 mph (51 kph).

How much does an egret weigh?

The weight range of egret birds is between 1.98-3 lb (900-1360 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male great egret is called a cock, while a female great egret is called a hen.

What would you call a baby egret?

The young one of a great egret is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The diet of an egret is formed by fish. But they also prey upon other smaller aquatic animals like crustaceans or amphibians like frogs. They are also seen to prey on certain terrestrial creatures like grasshoppers.

Are they rare?

An egret is a bird that feeds on fish. Certain species of it are rare, as the Chinese egret. But the great egret, which has its range in North America, is much common. They nest on the trees and look similar to herons.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these birds which belong to the family of herons do not make easy or good pets. They mostly feed on fish, which causes a stink, and also prefer tall trees to nest on.

Did you know...

Egrets are beautiful birds because of their majestic appearance. The bill is long and bright orange with the body completely white and dark grey legs.

Egrets were hunted because of their feathers which were used in the fashion industry to make decorative ornamentation. The decorative plumes were in great demand by the hat makers of the fashion industry of the United States and Europe. As a result, large numbers of egrets were killed all around the world.

Types of egret

Egrets belong to the Ardeidae family, which is also a heron family. Most egrets belong to the Egretta genus, like the little egret or the snowy egret. But the great egret Ardea alba belongs to the Ardea genus. Some other types of egrets are slaty egret, black egret, Pacific reef heron, or Eastern reef egret. The great white egret is the most largely distributed among these.

Egret vs. heron

Heron and egrets both are freshwater, long-legged, coastal birds and belong to the same family, Ardeidae.

Heron is carnivorous and feeds on aquatic animals like amphibians, fish, reptiles, insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. They also feed on other bird eggs.

Heron is found all over the world except in the harsh cold climate of Antarctica and the Arctic. Egrets are found in wetlands, especially in warm temperate to tropical parts of Africa, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

Is it illegal to kill an egret?

Yes, it is illegal to kill an egret, and it is protected by federal law. Individuals are prohibited from harassing, injure, kill or even move an egret when they have nested. The protection covers the whole range of the bird's habitat, eggs, nests, and the bird itself.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these  black-headed gull facts and laughing gull facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Egret coloring pages.

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