|Great White Egret Ardea alba
(aka Great Egret, Common Egret, Egretta alba, Casmerodius albus.)
There are 4 sub-species of the Great White Egret which is distributed in the tropics and sub-tropics around the world. The sub-species found in Australia is A. a. modesta. Its habitats include rivers, inland wetlands, estuaries and mudflats where it feeds on amphibians, fish, shellfish and insects.
It is the tallest egret in Australia and for most of the year it appears in its non-breeding plumage. The bill is yellow with a dark tip and the gape extending below the eye. The legs are black. In breeding plumage the bill becomes black, the facial skin turns greenish and it grows long plumes over the back. Photo 1 shows a bird moving from breeding to non-breeding plumage.
|For details on the trade in these plumes see here.|
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