Little Egret (Egretta garzetta
aka Lesser Egret Appearance
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. Habits
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. Diet
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. Resident
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. Photographs
Photographed at Kenya's Mfangano Island, Lake Victoria.