Dimorphic Egret (Egretta dimorpha)

Dimorphic Egret

[order] CICONIIFORMES | [family] Ardeidae | [latin] Egretta dimorpha | [authority] | [UK] Dimorphic Egret | [FR] Aigrette dimorphe | [DE] Meerreiher | [ES] Garceta Dimorfa | [NL] Madagaskar Zilverreiger


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Egretta dimorpha AF e, Madagascar


Egretta is a genus of medium-sized herons, mostly breeding in warmer climates. Representatives of this family are found in most of the world, and the Little Egret, as well as being widespread throughout much of the Old World, has now started to colonise the Americas. Little Egret Egretta garzetta in Kolleru, Andhra Pradesh, India.These are typical egrets in shape, long-necked and long-legged. There are few plumage features in common, although several have plumes in breeding plumage; a number of species are either white in all plumages, have a white morph (e.g. Reddish Egret), or have a white juvenile plumage (Little Blue Heron). The breeding habitat of Egretta herons is marshy wetlands in warm countries. They nest in colonies, often with other wading birds, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs.

Physical charateristics

Dark blue-grey back, chest, wings, neck and head with plumes on the head, chest and back. White throat, chin and neck. Also white wing patches where the wing folds (barely visible on the specimen above). Pink or yellow feet and black legs. Long slender black bill and pink or yellow lores. White morph – all over white plumage but may show some dark streaking

wingspan min.: 86 cm wingspan max.: 104 cm
size min.: 55 cm size max.: 65 cm
incubation min.: 21 days incubation max.: 25 days
fledging min.: 40 days fledging max.: 41 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


Africa : East, Madagascar


Coastal; breeds on coral islets and feeds in pools in exposed coral.


Like Little Egret but lays only 2 eggs.

Feeding habits

Diet consists of Fish, invertebrates, crustaceans, molluscs, insects


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
In 2009, the IUCN lumped Egretta dimorpha with the Little Egret Egretta garzetta.


This species is sedentary, remaining in its nesting areas throughout the year

Distribution map

Dimorphic Egret distribution range map

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