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Little Egret

Egretta garzetta (Linnaeus, 1766)

Малая белая цапля | Кішкене аққұтан

2008-06-20
Atyrauskaja oblast, Delta Ural river, Peschnoj
© Fedor Sarayev

Description

Little Egret is very similar to Great Egret by exterior and coloring, but is almost twice less than it. All plumage coloring is snowy-white. At male in breeding plumage the nape has crest from two feathers; fluffed and extended mantle feathers form a magnificent train; at female these feathers are less developed. Bill is black, lores and eye-ring are bluish-black, legs are bluish-black. Eyes are bright yellow. The base of low mandible on juveniles is yellow. Sizes: wing 265-300, tail 95-120, tarsus 87-113, bill 78-92 mm.

Distribution

Little Egret in previous times occupied the lower valley of Syrdarya river and northern coast of Caspian Sea. In 1974-1975 it nested in lower valley of Ural river in 60 km to the north of Atyrau. Now Little Egret is common in Ural river delta and along northern coast of Caspian Sea. Vagrant birds recorded in Western Kazakhstan on Kushum river up to Pyatimar village, in Naurzum Reserve, on Kumkol lake in lower reaches of Turgay river (May 1975 and July 1983), in Kurgaldzhino Reserve (16 May 2000), at mouth and lower reaches of Syrdarya river, on Alakol lake (18 June 1972 and 21 July 1968), near Chilik (15 May 2002). Group of four flying birds was recorded at 29 December 1993 in Western Tien Shan in upper reaches of Arys river.

Biology

Little Egret is rare or accidental breeding migrant. It inhabits coast of northern Caspian Sea, rivers and lakes; with reed-beds, trees, bushes; near shallow water. Little Egret arrives in flocks of 8-12 birds in mid-April - early May. Breeding begins soon after arrival. Little Egret nests in colonies together with other representatives of Ardeidae family. Nests from dry twigs are built in trees (willow) and bushes at 6-10 m above ground; or in reeds. Clutches of 4-5 (rare of 3 or 6) eggs founded in mid-May. Juveniles hatch in early June and begin to fly early July. Soon after beginning of juveniles flying Little Egrets begin to disperse to south. Lasts migrated birds were recorded in end of August - end of September.

Subspecies

Egretta garzetta garzetta (Linnaeus, 1766)

References

"Птицы Казахстана" том 1. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1960.
Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.
Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.

supplement

subspecies

Egretta garzetta garzetta
(Linnaeus, 1766)

go to family:

Ardeidae

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