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A small white heron with black legs and bill and yellow feet. In breeding plumage it sports two long plumes from the back of the head and plumes on the back and breast. Most of the year, the lores are bluish gray, but in high breeding they can become yellow, orange, or even red.
Most areas with Little Egret contains birds with yellow feet, but the far east subspecies nigripes has black feet (possibly with yellow soles).
 Similar species
From southern Europe, though Asia to Korea, Japan, and Indonesia to New Guinea, as well in northern and eastern Australia, and New Zealand. Only proven breeding colony in the Western Hemisphere is on Barbados (since 1994), but has occurred with several reports from Trinidad to Puerto Rico. Vagrant north eastern United States and Canada with records in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Maine, Massachusetts, and Delaware.
In recent years has appeared much more frequently in southern England with breeding first recorded in 1996 and around 100 pairs nesting at eighteen sites in 2001. First breeding in Ireland, Austria and Poland took place in 1997.
In North Africa occurs from the Cape Verde Islands and coastal Mauritania to Tunisia and throughout the Nile delta and valley. More widespread south of the Sahara ranging from Senegal to Somalia and south to South Africa.
Most European birds and west Asian migrate to sub-Saharan Africa but others winter around the Mediterranean, smaller numbers further north. Post-breeding dispersal takes many birds north of main breeding range in late summer and autumn. In Britain Little Egrets can now be seen on estuaries in south Wales and south-west England, along the Channel coast and on the east coast as far as Norfolk. Is resident in the North West and North Wales on the Dee and Mersey. The majority occur from Cornwall to West Sussex and numbers reach a peak in autumn.
Recorded as a vagrant to most European countries out of usual range north and east to Iceland and the Faroe Islands, Norway, Latvia and Belarus, also recorded in the Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands (first breeding in 1995).
Nominate race occurs from Europe to Japan and in Africa, race nigripes from the Philippines to New Guinea and immaculata in northern and eastern Australia. Some authors consider the Western Reef Egret, Pacific Reef Egret and Dimorphic Egret to be races of this species.
Slow-flowing rivers, shallow lakes and flooded fields, also on brackish lagoons, estuaries and along shorelines.
Breeds colonially in trees near water. Forms communal roosts where birds from a large area gather at dusk.
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