Little Egrets were once rare visitors to the UK, but in the late 1970s, they appeared more frequently and are now common in the South, having bred here since 1996. They are found over a large part of the world including Europe, Asia and Africa and have recently colonised Australia and North America. Like other herons, they hunt fish, amphibians and invertebrates among other prey, usually in water. Despite their wide current range in Europe, they were endangered due to hunting for food and for the hat trade, which used their plumes. As suggested by the name, they are smaller than most of their relatives at 55-65 cm in length.
1: Farlington Marshes, Hampshire, 27/05/2013.