Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
aka Lesser Egret

Little Egrets are very large, 25" (64cm) birds, but medium-sized by Heron standards. Delicately shaped, it is a completely white bird with a slim black bill, black legs and bright yellow feet. The eyes are pale yellow and there are blue-grey patches of skin in front of the eyes. It is often confused with the Great Egret which has a yellow bill and black feet. When breeding, it develops plumes of feathers on the back of its head, breast and back.
A 'black morph' of this species is seen at the coast, where the white version is rarely seen.

Little Egrets are generally seen solitary, although they do feed in the company of other waders. They breed at Kisumu (Lake Victoria), Lake Jipe and Lake Turkana, making a platform of sticks in trees, bushes or reed / bamboo beds. 3 - 5 blue-green eggs are laid and incubated by both parents for approximately 3 weeks. The chicks fledge at approximately 6 weeks after hatching.

Little Egrets dash about in shallow water, chasing fish or will stand perfectly still, stirring up mud to flush its prey. Will occasionally take frogs, snails and amphibious insects.

Little Egrets are commonly seen to the west of Kenya's Lake Turkana down to the Tana River, but rarely at the coast. They reside around open marshes, rivers and ponds.

Extra Little Egret Facts
Little Egrets were hunted to extinction in Europe during the 19th century and their plumes used in hat making.

Photographed at Kenya's Mfangano Island, Lake Victoria.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bird, egret, kenya, lesser egret, little egret, wildlife

Little Egret ~ On Rock

Little Egret, perched on a rock, off Kenya's Mfangano Island in Lake Victoria.

Little Egret ~ in Flight

Little Egret flying over Lake Victoria.

Little Egret ~ Fishing

Little Egret, poerched on a branch overhanging Lake Victoria, waiting for fish to pass by.