Kakadu National Park

Saturday 12 October 2019

Five species of egret are commonly found in Kakadu – the great, intermediate, little, cattle and reef egret.

What it looks like

Egrets have long necks and brilliant white plumage.

Intermediate egrets are easily recognised during the breeding season, when they develop long nuptial plumes (hair-like feathers) on the lower back.

Where to see it

Egrets can be found along most rivers and smaller waterways throughout Kakadu, where they wade through the shallows looking for food. One of the best places to see them is Anbangbang Billabong in the Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) region.

During gudjewg, Kakadu’s monsoon season (December–March), egrets nest in large colonies in the tops of mangroves.

Behaviour

Egrets catch fish by stabbing them with their long bills. They also eat aquatic insects, molluscs, small reptiles, crustaceans and other small animals.

Other names

Scientific names

  • Ardea alba (great egret)
  • Ardea intermedia (intermediate egret)
  • Egretta garzetta (little egret)
  • Ardea ibis (cattle egret)
  • Egretta sacra (reef egret)