Great Egret ( Egretta alba, family: Ardeidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Great White Egret

great egret kruger national park birds The Great Egret (Latin name Egretta alba) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 66 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 585 also a picture of the Great Egret on page 592. The Great Egret belongs to the family of birds classified as Ardeidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Great Egret is also known by these other names: Great White Heron, White Egret, White Heron, American Egret, Large Egret, Common Egret.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Great Egret was called the Great White Egret

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Great Egret is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Great Egret in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Great Egret : see above distribution map.

The Great Egret.

Kruger Park Great EgretIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Great Egret is a large bird much bigger than a Pied Crow. The height of the Great Egret is about 95 cms and its weight is about 1100 gms

The male and female Great Egret have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is white.
  • Eye is orange.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is white.
  • Legs are grey.

This bird has long legs.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Great Egret feeds on the ground and in or around water mainly


Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Great Egret takes on more than a single mate (it is bigamous).

The nesting habit of Great Egret is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are green, blue in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Great Egret are: wetlands and riverine areas

You can see Great Egret in flocks. The bird will often also be seen singly.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... iLanda

Afrikaans ...Grootwitreier

German ... Silberreiher

Portuguese ... Gara-branca-grande

French ... Grande Aigrette

Dutch ... Grote Zilverreiger

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 66

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,