Feeding behaviour of herons: 4. Little Egret

The earlier series can be accessed HERE, HERE and HERE.

“The Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta) were numerous at this site, at least 150 and quite likely more (above). Again this type of fishing behaviour has not been described in print literature. Dr David R Wells (The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Volume 1, 1999) describes their feeding behaviour as ‘forages individually but roosts gregariously’. More often foraging in ‘shallow water’. This large crowd was feeding companionably alongside the other egret species and herons all over the large pond.

“These were the most successful ‘fishermen’ with a high rate of capture. Their technique is more refined than the Chinese Pond Heron. The Little Egrets are elegant fliers, they glide over water with little effort and scan for fish (above left). They then scoop up the catch with hardly a splash. They seem to like to trail their feet in the water (above right), and I wonder if this is fishing technique to push the prey forward?

“There were many but kept their distance; had to really hide and capture images from a distance.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Tambun Interior, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Ex-mining pool adjacent to limestone hills and secondary growth
30th December 2010 (also 01/01/2011)

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