Real World Gardener Little Egret is Wildlife in Focus

June 16th, 2017


Little Egret

Egretta garzetta

Australia has plenty of water birds but do you think of our waterbirds as hanging around the seashore?

That’s probably true of a lot of water birds but others prefer inland areas where there’s plenty of water as in creeks, rivers and lakes.




Egretta garzetta

In fact some water birds like open areas with shallow fresh water while others go for coastal swamps, shallow seasonal meadows and marshes, stony rise lowlands and large saline lakes.

There's more than one Egret that lives in Australia, so how to tell which it is that you're looking at.

they look similar so it is quite confusing.

Which one is white with black legs?


Let’s find out more.. I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards.



All Egrets tend to be white with long legs and a long beak.

The distinguishing features is that the Little Egret has a black bill with dark grey-black legs.

Both the Cattle Egret and the Little Egret get flumes on the back of their head when they're breeding.

The colour of the Cattle Egret's plumes are orangey-yellow, but the Little Egret's plumes are white.


Breeding plume of Little Egret

It's so important to retain Australia's wetlands.

Wetlands support a rich diversity of plants and animals including a large number of waterbirds that depend on them for food, shelter and breeding.

The Little Egret hunts for fish and other small water creatures in shallow water and may be found in the company of other wading birds, but rarely with others of its own species.

If you have any questions about the little egret, or have some information to share, drop us a line to or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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