Hierarchy contributed by the species page author
<a target='_blank' href='http://data.gbif.org/datasets/resource/1'>Accessed through GBIF data portal, GBIF Backbone Taxonomy</a>
<a target='_blank' href='www.iucnredlist.org'>IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. Exported on 12 January 2012</a>
|Scientific Name||Egretta garzetta (Linnaeus, 1766)|
E. g. garzetta
E. g. immaculata
E. g. nigripes
The season in N. India is principally July and August ; in the south November to February. The Little Egret breeds in heronries in the mixed company of Paddy Birds, cormorants and other marsh birds. The nests are shallow twig cups of the crow type, scantily lined with straw, leaves, etc. They are built in trees, usually but not always, standing in or near water, and often in the very midst of towns or villages. The same site and nests, repaired if necessary, are used year after year. The eggs-usually 4 -are moderately broad ovals in shape and pale bluish -green in colour..
About that of a village hen, but with longer neck and legs.
A lanky snow-white egret, differentiated at all seasons from the very similar Cattle Egret by its black not yellow bill. In the breeding season it develops a long drooping crest of two narrow plumes, and decomposed dainty ornamental feathers or 'aigrettes' on its breast and back. Sexes alike.
The Little Egret frequents fresh water jheels, tanks, ponds and rivers but to a lesser extent it is also found by tidal creeks. It is a sociable bird usually met with in small parties or larger flocks, and commonly in association with the very similar but slightly larger Egretta intermedia—the Smaller Egret. They wade in shallow water or stalk about on the soft mud and grassland around the margins in search of food which consists mainly of insects, frogs and small reptiles. The birds roost at night in trees.
"Some years ago Little Egrets used to be extensively and lucratively farmed by the mohanas or local fishermen on many of the dhands or jheels in Sind, for the sake of their elegant ornamental breeding plumes. These were collected in a humane manner, without injury to the birds. Each bird seldom yielded less than a tola during the year. They fetched from Ks. 10 to Rs.15 per tola locally, and as much as £15 per oz. smuggled into Europe. With the change in women's fashions, egret feathers no longer carry the same demand, and prices have also dwindled accordingly. But some small farms exist even to this day. The species that chiefly supplied these ' aigrette ' feathers of commerce were : The Little Egret, the slightly larger Smaller Egret and the solitary Large Egret (Egretta alba) . The last is a solitary bird about the size of the Grey Heron, of pure white plumage and with black legs and bill." Salim Ali in "The book of Indian birds." Bombay, The Bombay Natural History Society (1941).
Parties seen, by jheels and rivers.
Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1