Friday, 30 September 2011

Reef Heron ( Egretta gularis )

Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad
Egretta is a genus of medium-sized herons, mostly breeding in warmer climates. Representatives of this family are found in most of the world, and the Little Egret, as well as being widespread throughout much of the Old World, has now started to colonise the Americas. Little Egret Egretta garzetta in Kolleru, Andhra Pradesh, India.These are typical egrets in shape, long-necked and long-legged. There are few plumage features in common, although several have plumes in breeding plumage; a number of species are either white in all plumages, have a white morph (e.g. Reddish Egret), or have a white juvenile plumage (Little Blue Heron). The breeding habitat of Egretta herons is marshy wetlands in warm countries. They nest in colonies, often with other wading birds, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs.

Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad
Race golares coastal on rockyor sandy shores and reefs, less frequently occupies estuaries, mudflats, salt marshes mangroves andtidal creeks, occasionally inland. Nests on ground or in reedbeds, bushes or trees up to 20 m also ledges or rocks or in mangroves, 2-6 eggs incubation 20-25 days, chicks have white down.

Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad
Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad
Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad

This bird has two plumage colour forms. There is an all-white morph and a dark grey morph; intermediate morphs also occur. The white morph is similar in general appearance to the Little Egret, but has a thicker bill, duller legs, and a less elegant appearance. The grey morph is unlikely to be confused with any other species within the range of this egret. These birds stalk their prey in shallow water, often running or shuffling their feet; they may also stand still and wait to ambush prey. They eat fish, crustaceans, and molluscs.

Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad
Photo by/ Ahmed F.Gad

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