Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Eastern Great Egret

The great egret (Ardea alba) is also known as the great white heron and great white egret. There are four subspecies. I've seen the subspecies in the Americas, A. a. egretta, in Florida and Georgia. In our recent trip to Sri Lanka, I saw another subspecies, which some consider its own species, the eastern great egret (A. a. modesta), which is found in Asia and Oceania, as area marked on the range map below. 
Range of eastern great egret from Wikipedia. Yellow is breeding, green is year-round and blue is non-breeding. 
The differences between the subspecies are very small. They mainly relate to size and coloration of the bare parts in breeding season. The eastern great egret is the smallest of the subspecies. 
In Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
It is distinguished from other white herons and egrets in Asia and Australia by its very long neck which is one and a half times the length of its body. 
In Polonnaruwa.

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