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Pacific Reef Heron

From Opus

Grey and white morphsPhoto © by tcollins Near Darwin, NT, Australia, September 2006
Grey and white morphs
Photo © by tcollins
Near Darwin, NT, Australia, September 2006

Alternative name: Pacific Reef Egret, Eastern Reef Egret

Egretta sacra


[edit] Identification

Photo © by firecrest15Lee Point beach, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, October 2017
Photo © by firecrest15
Lee Point beach, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, October 2017

58–66 cm (22¾-26 in)

  • A polymorphic species; two morphs, white or dark grey (the more common) overall plumages
  • Short yellow legs
  • Brown bill
  • Yellow eyes

[edit] Distribution

Southern Korea and southern Japan south to Thailand, Burma, Malaysia and Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. Also breeds on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean and the Marquesas and Tuamotus in the Pacific.

[edit] Taxonomy

The Pacific Reef Egret is sometimes considered a subspecies of the Little Egret.

[edit] Subspecies

There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • E. s sacra:
  • E. s albolineata:
  • New Caledonia and Loyalty Islands

[edit] Habitat

Mostly coastal; rocky shores, coral reefs and off-shore islands, less commonly on mudflats and lagoons; sometimes foraging in paddyfields close to the sea.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Their diet mostly consists of small crabs and fish, such as mudskippers. They will occasionally eat molluscs, insects and lizards.

[edit] Breeding

The clutch contains two or three pale greenish-blue eggs. Both adults incubate the eggs for about 28 days and care for them for around 35 days from hatching.

[edit] Movements

Mainly resident perhaps with limited post-breeding dispersal.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2018)
  3. BF Member observations

[edit] External Links


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

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