Little Egret: Foot tapping

“While walking along the Telok Kurau canal when the tide is low, I have often paused to admire the foot tapping antics of the Little Egret (Egretta garzetta). It will target submerged clumps of dead leaves/debris and insert either foot into these aggregations and tap away vigorously. This sudden, localised trembling serves to flush out any creatures that may be hiding within.

“Oftentimes, the clarity of the water is sufficient for the egret to spot and strike its aquatic prey. However, there have been times when uncontrolled run-off from adjacent/upstream developments caused the waters to become excessively cloudy/muddy. When this happens, visibility to detect prey virtually ecomes zero. Hence, I sincerely hope that development projects in the vicinity may spare a thought for the wildlife that inhabits this canal and adopt best practices that will prevent/minimise siltation of this vibrant, lively waterway.”

Dr Leong Tzi Ming
1st February 2011

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