Foraging behaviour of the Little Egret

posted in: Feeding strategy | 2

SK Foo was at the the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 28th December 2008 at 0948 hours when he documented the foraging behaviour of the Little Egret (Egretta garzetta).

“This is a rather common bird in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. It is easy to tell a Little Egret from other egrets by its yellow feet (some locals refer to them as Phua Chu Kang boots).

“Sometimes when I am waiting for ‘star’ birds to appear, a Little Egret may just appear nearby foraging for food, keeping me occupied.

“I noted that in shallow water, a Little Egret would use one of its legs to dab the area in front of it while keeping its body close to the water (above). When the prey appeared from its hiding place, the egret would strike at it with great accuracy.

“Yesterday I went to the reserve to look for Johnson Duck, sorry I meant Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) (a rare bird!). In the later part of the evening, I joined some friends at the Main Bridge. As the tide went lower, drama started to unfold underneath the bridge. Most interestingly, a pair of Malayan Water Monitor Lizards was seen doing “tango” or “wrestling”, a White-breasted Water-hen (Amaurornis phoenicurus ) with its cute black fur chick and Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta) having a feeding frenzy!

“This round, perhaps the fishes were bigger, the egrets would fly from the edges of the river towards the fishes, swooshed down to catch them with their bills, swallowing them as they flew back to the edges of the river. Naturally, one fish at a time and with great success rate too…”

Image by SK Foo.

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

2 Responses

  1. Gunnar Engblom

    Amazing photo. You have a great series there with these informative text about bird behaviour together with such marvelous shots. Hats off!!

  2. zzlaloq

    I have managed to observe some hron and egret forage by using trash as a raft. see story here

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