Tony Keene birds.co.uk Tony Keene birds.co.uk where I'm based
 
 Artwork
      Paintings
      Sketches
 
 Photography
      Australian Birds
      Japanese Birds
      New Zealand Birds
      Swiss Birds
      British Birds
      Birds Elsewhere
      Hybrid Birds
      Escaped Birds
 
      Taxonomic list
 
      Australian Mammals   New!
      Australian Reptiles
      Australian Frogs
 
 Trip Reports
 
 Translation guide
 
All images are subject to copyright (unless otherwise stated) and may not be used or reproduced without permission.

Intermediate Egret
Egretta/Ardea/Mesophoyx intermedia

As suggested by the name, this egret is intermediate in size between Great and Little Egrets at 56-70 cm compared with 83-103 for Great and 55-65 for Little. As with herons in general, prey consists of fish, invertabrates, frogs and almost anything they can catch with their long beaks. Intermediate egrets are found mainly in the eastern and northern parts of Australia.
 

Intermediate Egret

Intermediate Egret

Apart from size, which is often difficult to judge in herons because of their highly mobile necks and posture, the best disgnostic tool for differentiating Great and Intermediate egrets is the length and thickness of the bill (Intermediate is shorter and thicker and usually more orange in colour) and the length of the gape - in Great Egrets, it comes behind the eye while in Intermediates, it stops just short. The top photo is an Intermediate Egret and the bottom a Great Egret, both in non-breeding colours.
 

Intermediate Egret

Great Egret

1-2: Cairns Esplanade, Qld, 13/10/2011.