T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Heron (Little egret) Egretta garzetta nigripes

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Egretta
Species: E. garzetta
Binomial name: Egretta garzetta
Subspecies: Egretta garzetta nigripes
Common name: Little egret

Egretta garzetta nigripes (Little egret) is an uncommon species of small native heron classed as a vagrant. It is usually seen in New Zealand during autumn and winter. They have been reported throughout the country, from the Three Kings Islands and Parengarenga Harbour to Bluff.
The Little egret does not nest here and it is though to migrate here from Australia. 

It is much smaller than the white heron at 58 cm long and weights up to 550 g. The legs are black and the soles are yellow. The long pointed bill is black and its facial skin is yellow. Very narrow, pointed, nuptial plumes (150 mm long) are still visible. They are usually seen in tidal estuaries and occasionally in freshwater habits. They feed on small invertebrates and small fish.


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