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5

Intermediate Egret

(Ardea [Mesophoyx] intermedia)
Alternate name(s): "Plumed Egret", "White Crane*", "Median Egret", "Smaller Egret", "Yellow-billed Egret"
Size: 55-70 cm; wing span 1.05-1.2 m
Weight: 400 g (average)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Intermediate Egret at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "intermedia"

Not the photos you want? Or are you after even better quality? Have a look here .

ADULT

BREEDING

Near-frontal view of an Intermediate Egret in full breeding plumage and colours
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, August 2014]

Lateral view of an Intermediate Egret in full breeding plumage and colours
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, August 2014]

Lateral view of an Intermediate Egret in full breeding plumage and colours
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2010]

The same bird as shown above, slightly different posture
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2010]

Near-dorsal view of an Intermediate Egret in breeding plumage
[O'Brien's Creek, Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2016]

Intermediate Egret seen hunting in a dried-up part of a lake
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2011]

Dorsal view of an Intermediate Egret starting to moult into its breeding plumage
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2009]

NON-BREEDING

Lateral view of an Intermediate Egret in non-breeding plumage
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2010]

Near-dorsal view of an Intermediate Egret in non-breeding plumage
[Inverell, NSW, January 2017]

Dorsal view of an Intermediate Egret in non-breeding plumage
[Inverell, NSW, January 2017]

Dorsal view of an Intermediate Egret in non-breeding plumage
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, April 2012]

Lateral view of an Intermediate Egret in non-breeding plumage in flight, with fully stretched neck
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2011]

The same Intermediate Egret as shown above, now with full flaps for landing
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2011]

Intermediate Egret in flight
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, July 2010]

Here a direct comparison of an Intermediate Egret in flight (back right) with a Great Egret in the foreground; the main distinction between the two is in the lores, which extend to behind the eye for the Great Egret, but not for the Intermediate Egret
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, August 2010]

This photo allows a comparison of the relative sizes of a Cattle Egret (centre), a Great Egret (left) and an Intermediate Egret (right); all of them are searching for nesting material under a tree after a violent storm
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, December 2010]

Most of the birds shown here will probably be Intermediate Egrets; this photo gives an impression of how many egrets a single lake such as Narrabri Lake can support in a breeding season; obviously this flock is only part of the local population
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, January 2011]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a (probably young) Intermediate Egret
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, August 2012]

Near-dorsal view of a (probably young) Intermediate Egret
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, August 2012]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Oct - Jan Eggs: 3 - 4 Incubation period: 25 days Fledging age: 63 - 70 days

The breeding season depends significantly on geographical latitude. In the tropical north Intermediate Egrets breed Dec - Mar. Given the right conditions, Intermediate Egrets can breed any time of the year. They breed in colonies, together with other aquatic birds.

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Basket Material: Sticks, lined with leaves Height above ground: 5 - 20 m

Seen nesting, together with other aquatic birds, along the shores of Narrabri Lake during the breeding season of 2008 and subsequent years.

Intermediate Egrets in their nest

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 47 x 34 mm Colour: Light blue Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Partly migratory/ dispersive Elementary unit: Pair/flock

We have observed an Intermediate Egret use a hunting technique that we had previously only seen a Black-necked Stork employ.

Intermediate Egret standing on a lily pad
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, August 2014]

Intermediate Egret using its wing to frighten fish in the water...
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, August 2014]

... before pouncing on its prey; note how the lily pad provides a good base for the Intermediate Egret to push off from
[Fogg Dam CR, NT, August 2014]

Food, Diet

All egrets and herons prey on aquatic creatures in fresh water or estuaries (fish, frogs, snakes or crustaceans). Intermediate Egrets will take any of those.

Intermediate Egrets with a frog it has just caught high up in a tree standing on the edge of Narrabri Lake
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, April 2012]

Intermediate Egret trying unsuccessfully to swallow a snake
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, September 2010]

This Intermediate Egret has caught a fish (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

We will try to replace this poor recording with a better one as soon as possible.

integrt_20140817.mp3 intermedia
(Darwin, NT)
Annoyed © MD

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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