Totally PA_Pacific Reef-egret (Egretta sacra)Totally PA_Pacific Reef-egret (Egretta sacra)

Pacific Reef-egret (Egretta sacra)

Family: ARDEIDAEPicture

A large, worldwide family of long-legged wading birds. Herons have long necks and long straight, spear-like bills used for striking at fish, small vertebrates, and invertebrate prey. Several species exhibit long, fine, erectile plumes during the breeding season. Nests are generally large twig platforms built in trees.

Most of the 22 species occurring in the Greater Sundas are fairly distinctive, but care must be taken to separate the white egrets.

Description: Largish (58 cm) white or charcoal grey heron. Dimorphic: the commoner grey form is distinguished by uniform grey plumage with a short crest and whitish chin, often invisible in field. White form is distinguished from Cattle Egret by larger size and narrow head and neck, from other egrets by relatively shorter greenish legs and pale bill.

Iris - yellow; bill - pale yellow; feet -green

Voice: A hoarse grunted croak when feeding, and harsher arrk when alarmed.

Range: Coasts of Asia, W Pacific, and Indonesia to New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand.

Distribution and status: Throughout the Greater Sundas. Common on reefs; particularly reefs and sand beaches on offshore islands.

Habits: Almost always encountered on the shoreline, resting on rocks or cliff-sides, or hunting at water's edge, either poised or actively chasing small fish in shallow. Rarely encountered up rivers on sand bars. Nests on rock stacks.