Great White Egret

Egretta alba


The great white egret can look similar to the little egret but as the name suggests they are much larger, similar to the size of a grey heron. Great white egrets are an occasional visitor and favour all kinds of wetland habitat - even farmland ditches can attract them. They have a diet of fish, insects and frogs, caught by spearing with their long, sharp beak.

How to identify

The great white egret is a white heron, similar to the size of a grey heron with black feet and a long sharp yellow beak.

Where to find it

Found in wetland habitats in England, mainly around the South East and East Anglia.

When to find it

Great white egrets have occurred in the UK in all months of the year, but they are most likely to be seen during spring and winter.

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

With the effects of climate change becoming more apparent - from unseasonal flooding to warmer winters - it is quite likely that more wildlife will be able to expand its range. This might be good for those species that are threatened, but it may cause competition between species and unbalance natural habitats. The Wildlife Trusts are working with other organisations and individuals to create a 'Living Landscape': a network of habitats stretching across town and country, allowing wildlife to adapt to climate change and move about freely, and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Great White Egret
Latin name
Egretta alba
Herons, egrets and spoonbill
Length: 80 to 104cm Wingspan: 131 to 170cm Weight: 700g to 1.5kg
Conservation status
No status