:"This is an article about a type of bird. For the EGRET satellite mission, see
Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope."Taxobox
name = Egret
image_width = 250px
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision = "
An egret is any of several
herons, most of which are white or buff, and several of which develop fine plumes (usually milky white) during the breeding season. Many egrets are members of the genera "Egretta" or "Ardea" which contain other species named as herons rather than egrets. The distinction between a heron and an egret is rather vague, and depends more on appearance than biology. The word "egret" comes from the French word "aigrette", referring to the long filamentous feathers that seem to cascade down an egret's back during the breeding season.
Several of the egrets have been moved around from one genus to another in recent years: the
Great Egret, for example, has been classified as a member of either "Casmerodius", "Egretta" or "Ardea".
In the 19th and early part of the 20th century, some of the world's egret species were endangered by relentless hunting, since hat makers in
Europeand the United Statesdemanded massive numbers of egret plumes and breeding birds were killed in locations all around the world.
Several "Egretta" species, including the
Eastern Reef Egret, the Reddish Egretand the Western Reef Egret have two distinct colours, one of which is entirely white. Little Blue Heronhas all-white juvenile plumage.
pecies in taxonomic order
Great Egretor Great White Egret, "Ardea alba"
Intermediate Egret, "Ardea intermedia" or "Egretta intermedia"
Cattle Egret, "Bubulcus ibis"
Little Egret"Egretta garzetta"
Eastern Reef Egret, "Egretta sacra"
* Western Reef Egret, "Egretta gularis"
Snowy Egret, "Egretta thula"
Reddish Egret, "Egretta rufescens"
Slaty Egret, "Egretta vinaceigula"
Chinese Egret, "Egretta eulophotes"
* [http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/Infocenter/i1960id.html Great Egret at the USGS]
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