Pacific Reef Egret foraging along a canal

on 28th February 2008


On the afternoon of 15th February 2008, Dr Leong Tzi Ming was taking a casual stroll along the Telok Kurau Canal near his home when he spotted a heron foraging in the shallow water of the canal.

Tzi Ming is familiar with Little Heron (Butorides striatus), Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) and Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), but not this bird. His suspected it to be a Pacific Reef Egret (Egretta sacra).

According to our bird specialist R Subaraj, “This is indeed a dark-phase Pacific Reef Egret. I have seen him flying over East Coast Road by your canal a couple of times over the past month.”

These birds are usually seen singly or in pairs. And most pairs Subaraj saw consisted of a dark and a white morph.

The Pacific Reef Egret is an uncommon resident. Its typical habitats are rocky shores, exposed reef flats and sometimes along sandy shore and low-tide mud around mangroves. But in urbanised Singapore, our concretised canals are becoming feeding grounds for this as well as other herons like Grey, Night and Striated.

Dr Leong Tzi Ming & R Subaraj
February 2008

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

5 Responses

  1. haha… i got so excited when i saw this bird in the telok kurau canal two days ago (under kembangan MRT), never seen it before. took photos of it with my sad little handphone camera, but still managed to wow my friends with it. 🙂

  2. Pingback: telok kurau

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