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Great Egret courting a female

(Ardea modesta [alba])
Alternate name(s): "Egret*", "Large Egret", "White Egret", "Eastern Great Egret", "White Crane*"
Aboriginal name(s): "moolpa"

Size: 0.85-1.05 m; wing span 1.45-1.65 m
Weight: 0.7-1.5 kg

Back to the Great Egret main page .

The display starts with the male fanning out the aigrettes (breeding plumage) on its back. Then, from a sitting position, it will lower its head as far as possible (first photo).

Great Egret bowing

Then it slowly brings its head back up, at which point the kink in its neck is clearly visible.

Note the turquoise lores and dark bill, which clearly identify this bird as a Great Egret

Finally, the bird goes into full stretch in the other extreme, raising its head as high as it will go.

Male Great Egret with its head raised high

Then it goes back into its usual perching position, until the display starts again. The same procedure will be repeated many times.

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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