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Eastern reef-egret

Egretta sacra
Photo by Peter Strauss (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
eastern reef-egret (en); garça-dos-recifes-oriental (pt); aigrette sacrée (fr); garceta costera oriental (es); riffreiher (de)

Order Ciconiiformes
Family Ardeidae

This species is found along the western Pacific coast, from Japan down to Thailand and all the way to Bangladesh and India. Then south, through Indonesia and Papua-New Guinea, and into Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and many islands in Polynesia.

The eastern reef-egret is 57-66 cm long and has a wingspan of 90-110 cm. These birds weigh 400 g.

These birds live on beaches, rocky shores, tidal rivers and inlets, mangroves, and exposed coral reefs.
Eastern reef-egrets mostly eat fish, molluscs and crustaceans.

These birds can breed all year round, nesting in colonies in the jungle, between palms and mangroves or in cavities of old buildings. The nest is a platform made of sticks, twigs and leaves and lined with seaweed. There the female lays 2-4 green-blue eggs which are incubated by both parents for 25-28 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 5-6 weeks after hatching.
IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population of 100.000-1.000.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.
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