Australian Bush Birds
Eastern Reef Egret  -  Ardea sacra
Eastern Reef Egret
Eastern Reef Egret near Broome
map map The Eastern Reef Egret - Ardea sacra - may be seen in two colour versions. The all-white version is white all over with pale horn to yellow bill. The grey version is dark sooty-grey all over with some white on the throat. Legs are coloured greyish or greenish-yellow. Breeding examples have lanceolate plumes on the back. Juveniles are brownish-grey with a brownish cap.

Bill is comparatively long and thick. Legs are shorter and thicker than other egrets and appear very short in flight. Overall shape is distinctive; this species' long neck and short legs lacks the visual balance of other egrets.

Eastern Reef Egret
Eastern Reef Egret prowling across an inter-tidal rock platform at Cape Keraudren, WA. (19°57'27"S, 119°46'06E)
Eastern Reef Egret - page 2
Lives on shorelines of mainland coasts and islands, feeding in the intertidal zone on rocks, coral reefs, mangroves and mudflats. Found around the Australian coast but more common in the north and north-east, uncommon to rare in the south and south-west; absent or vagrant in Victoria and Tasmania.