Great Egret catching fish


The Great Egret (Casmerodius albus), also known as Great White Egret, is an impressive looking bird. Standing at 100 cm tall or more, it is one of the larger herons around. A common winter visitor, the bird can be seen all the year round around rivers, mangroves and such habitats.


To see one in action catching fish is a memorable sight indeed. Like most herons, the Great Egret is usually a passive hunter. Most times it takes a few slow steps in the shallow water, stands quietly and still, and waits for prey to approach.

In this case the heron was apparently on land. It made a sudden lunge, flapping its huge white wings to make the short flight into the water. It landed in the shallow water and immediately plunged at the fish. The long, sharp bill was deadly accurate, seizing the fish around the centre. The fish was then flipped to reposition it so that it could be swallowed head-first.


Input and all images by James Wong

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

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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.

2 Responses

  1. white egret

    […] Great Egret. By Margaret … The Great Egret ardea alba’ is the tallest of our four white egrets …Bird Ecology Study Group Great Egret catching fishThe Great Egret (Casmerodius albus), also known as Great White Egret, is an impressive looking bird. […]

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