Great Egret

Great Egret (Ardea albus)

 Anyone who has visited the Spittal Pond Nature Reserve in the last month has probably noticed at least two large white birds around the pond. The Great Egret is a migrant species that frequently overwinters in Bermuda. Great Egrets are distinctive because of their size, they can reach up to 1 m (3 feet) tall; and the wing span may be twice this. Their snow white coloration is also distinctive. The Great Egret has a yellow bill and black legs and feet.

The birds can be seen feeding in wetland habitats like Spittal Pond and Seymour’s Pond where they catch lizards, small fish, and frogs and may even eat small rats. When the Egret is hunting it straightens its long neck and leans forward intently watching its target. It then darts forward to spear the prey with its sharp straight bill. If the bird is disturbed it will rise slowly into the air and fly away with its neck folded into its body and may make a ‘chuck chuck’ call.