Little Egret VS Cattle Egret, difference between Little Egret and Cattle Egret


I have seen quite a few egrets and, well, the Little Egret is easy enough to identify with the black bill and the black legs with yellow feet. The only bird this can be mistaken for is the Cattle Egret, and then, only at a very quick glance. If you look at the bird for a second you will soon notice that the Cattle Egret have a yellow bill and black legs and feet.

So it is hard to make a mistake, we just need to remember the colour of the bill. And the feet, but many times you cannot see the feet due to vegetation etc. But you can see the bill and that is enough, winter or breeding plumage.

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, นกยางเปีย, コサギ
Little Egret,
black bill and blacklegs with yellow feet

Winter plumage: Yellow to light faded yellow face colour - Greyish lores


Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, アマサギ
Little Egret in winter plumage
Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, アマサギ
Cattle Egret,
yellow bill and black legs and feet

Winter plumage: Yellow face colour and black legs


Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, アマサギ
Cattle Egret in winter plumage

During the breeding season it is impossible to mistake the Cattle Egret and the Little Egret. The intensive colours in the Cattle Egret's iris and bills are due to the increased hormone levels during the breeding


Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, นกยางเปีย, コサギ
Little Egret in breeding plumage

Breeding plumage: Blue-violet face colour - Reddish lores

Nape plumes: Here we have two feathers on the back of the head.

Chest and back plumes: The above image shows a bird with some chest and back plumes



On the below picture, same bird different angle, we can see the chest plumes and the blue face.



Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, นกยางเปีย, コサギ
Little Egret in breeding plumage

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, นกยางเปีย, コサギ
Little Egret in breeding plumage

Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, アマサギ
Little Egret in winter plumage
Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, アマサギ
Cattle Egret in breeding plumage

Breeding plumage: Purple-pink face colour and the bill become rich orange-red. Legs turns pinkish red

Orange plumage over head, neck and back.

Long back and breast plumes

The above bird have yellow iris and black legs

The below bird have red iris and pinkish legs


Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, アマサギ
Cattle Egret in breeding plumage

Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, アマサギ
Cattle Egret in breeding plumage

Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, アマサギ
Cattle Egret in winter plumage


Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, アマサギ
Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, アマサギ
Cattle Egret, how we usually see the bird, looking for food around cattle

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, นกยางเปีย, コサギ
Little Egret, how we usually see the bird, looking for fish in the water

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, นกยางเปีย, コサギ
And if we're lucky we can see the Little Egret catching a fish

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, นกยางเปีย, コサギ
Little Egret, how we usually see the bird, close by the water

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, นกยางเปีย, コサギ
Little Egret, how we usually see the bird, close by the water

And as a general rule, if the bird is in the water it is a Little Egret looking for fish. If the bird is on pastures, lawns, next to cattle or wild buffaloes etc. it is a Cattle Egret. But this is not always the case. I was looking for birds in India and I spotted an Egret in the water and I just carried on noting the obvious, a Little Egret.

I stopped after a few steps, something didn't feel good about this Egret. I turned around and I walked back, and yes, it was a Cattle Egret. And it actually happened to me a few times with the Cattle egret in the water.


Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis, アマサギ
Cattle Egret looking for food in the water


The Eastern Cattle Egret (Bubulcus coromandus) is a species of heron (family Ardeidae) found in the tropics, subtropics and warm temperate zones. Most taxonomic authorities lump this species and the western cattle egret together as subspecies of the cattle egret, but some (including the International Ornithologists' Union) separate them.

Despite the similarities in plumage to the egrets of the genus Egretta, it is more closely related to the herons of Ardea. It is native to southern and eastern Asia, and Australasia.

++++++++++++++++


The Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a species of heron (family Ardeidae) found in the tropics, subtropics and warm temperate zones. Most taxonomic authorities lump this species and the eastern cattle egret together (called the cattle egret), but some (including the International Ornithologists' Union separate them.

Despite the similarities in plumage to the egrets of the genus Egretta, it is more closely related to the herons of Ardea. Originally native to parts of Asia, Africa and Europe, it has undergone a rapid expansion in its distribution and successfully colonised much of the rest of the world in the last century.


Listen to the Little Egret

Listen to the Western Cattle Egret

Listen to the Eastern Cattle Egret

Intermediate Egret VS Great Egret


Intermediate Egret, Median Egret, Smaller Egret, or Yellow-billed Egret, Ardea intermedia, チュウサギ
Intermediate Egret and a Great Egret
Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, Dubai, U.A.E - December 2018

Intermediate Egret, Median Egret, Smaller Egret, or Yellow-billed Egret, Ardea intermedia, チュウサギ
Intermediate Egret and a Great Egret in breeding uniform
Miyake Island, Japan - April 2019

To spot the difference between the Great Egret and the Intermediate Egret in the filed can be a wee bit more tricky. Of course, if they stand next to each other you can see the difference in size. And if you're close you can see the black-tipped yellow bill and the gape. From a distance it is easiest to see what I call Great Egret's ? shaped neck.

Great Egret: 80 to 104 cm in length and have a wingspan of 131 to 170 cm. Weight between 700 and 1,500 g

Intermediate Egret: 56–72 cm long with a 105–115 cm wingspan and weighs about 400 g


The non-breeding colours are similar, but the intermediate is smaller, with neck length a little less than body length, a slightly domed head, and a shorter, thicker bill. The Great Egret has a noticeable kink near the middle of its neck, and the top of its longer bill nearly aligns with the flat top of its head.

The Intermediate Egret tends to stalk upright with neck extended forward. The Great Egret is often adopting a sideways-leaning “one-eyed” stance. That's it and now you will be able to see the difference between the two Egrets.


Great Egret, Great White Heron, Ardea alba, นกยางโทนใหญ่
Great Egret and the top of its longer bill nearly aligns with the flat top of its head
Great Egret in winter plumage

Great Egret, Great White Heron, Ardea alba, นกยางโทนใหญ่
The bare skin of the Great Egret's gape line
extends in a dagger shape behind the eye
Great Egret in winter plumage

Great Egret, Great White Heron, Ardea alba, นกยางโทนใหญ่
The S or ? mark neck,
depending from which side you see the bird
Great Egret in winter plumage

Winter plumage: Yellow bill and lores pale green. Black legs

Breeding plumage: Black bill and lores blue. Tibia (leg) reddish


Great Egret, Great White Heron, Ardea alba, นกยางโทนใหญ่
Great Egret in breeding plumage

Great Egret, Great White Heron, Ardea alba, นกยางโทนใหญ่
Great Egret in breeding plumage
Intermediate Egret, Median Egret, Smaller Egret, or Yellow-billed Egret, Ardea intermedia, チュウサギ
Intermediate Egret has a slightly domed head, and a shorter, thicker bill
Intermediate Egret in winter plumage

Intermediate Egret, Median Egret, Smaller Egret, or Yellow-billed Egret, Ardea intermedia, チュウサギ
The bare skin of the Intermediate Egret's gape line is less pointed and ends below the eye
Intermediate Egret in winter plumage

Intermediate Egret, Median Egret, Smaller Egret, or Yellow-billed Egret, Ardea intermedia, チュウサギ
Not much of a kink on the neck
Intermediate Egret in winter plumage

Winter plumage: Black-tipped yellow bill and lores yellow. Black legs

Breeding plumage: Black bill and lores yellow green. Black legs


Intermediate Egret, Median Egret, Smaller Egret, or Yellow-billed Egret, Ardea intermedia, チュウサギ
Intermediate Egret in breeding plumage



Intermediate Egret, Median Egret, Smaller Egret, or Yellow-billed Egret, Ardea intermedia, チュウサギ
Intermediate Egret in breeding plumage



Intermediate Egret, Median Egret, Smaller Egret, or Yellow-billed Egret, Ardea intermedia, チュウサギ
The Intermediate Egret tends to stalk upright with neck extended forward

Great Egret, Great White Heron, Ardea alba, นกยางโทนใหญ่
The Great Egret is often adopting a sideways-leaning “one-eyed” stance




Listen to the Great Egret


Listen to the Intermediate Egret

Remarks from the Recordist

Habitat: wetland area

www.xeno-canto.org




Difference between pond herons


There are 5 species of Pond Herons. But I have only seen three of them. So until I have seen the two last species I can only compare the three I have seen.

Indian pond heron, Ardeola grayii

• Squacco heron, Ardeola ralloides

Chinese pond heron, Ardeola bacchus

Javan pond heron, Ardeola speciosa

• Malagasy pond heron, Ardeola idae

• Rufous-bellied heron, Ardeola rufiventris

All the 3 birds looks almost identical in winter plumage. And when I started to look for birds I visited Nick Upton's web page, www.thaibirding.com and I found a lot of information about birding in Thailand. And I started in December so I never realised that the Pond Herons could be different species until I read that: “Non breeding Javan and Chinese Pond Herons looks the same and you will have to wait until March - May to tell them apart”


Javan pond Heron, Ardeola speciosa, นกยางกรอกพันธุ์ชวา
Javan Pond Heron, breeding adult - Breeding plumage
11 July 2016 - Lumpini Park, Bangkok
Chinese Pond Heron, Ardeola bacchus, นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน
Chinese Pond Heron - นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน - Breeding plumage
March 2018 - Suan Rot Fai, Bangkok

Indian Pond Heron, or Paddybird, Ardeola grayii
Indian pond heron or Paddybird - Breeding plumage (Almost full)
March 2019 - Botanical Garden, Kolkata

Javan pond Heron, Ardeola speciosa, นกยางกรอกพันธุ์ชวา
Javan Pond Heron - Breeding plumage
July 2016 - Lumpini Park, Bangkok

Chinese Pond Heron, Ardeola bacchus, นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน
Chinese Pond Heron - นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน - Breeding plumage
March 2018 - Suan Rot Fai, Bangkok

Indian Pond Heron, or Paddybird, Ardeola grayii
Indian pond heron or Paddybird - Breeding plumage
May 2017 - Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Javan pond Heron, Ardeola speciosa, นกยางกรอกพันธุ์ชวา
Javan Pond Heron - Breeding plumage
July 2016 - Lumpini Park, Bangkok

Chinese Pond Heron, Ardeola bacchus, นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน
Chinese Pond Heron - นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน - Breeding plumage
March 2018 - Suan Rot Fai, Bangkok

Indian Pond Heron, or Paddybird, Ardeola grayii
Indian pond heron or Paddybird - Breeding plumage
16 May 2017 - Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Javan pond Heron, Ardeola speciosa, นกยางกรอกพันธุ์ชวา
Javan Pond Heron - Winter plumage
January 2017 - Mo Baan Pramong, Thailand
Almost sure about the identity as I was told they only
have the Javan Pond Herons ar Mo Baan Pramong

Chinese Pond Heron, Ardeola bacchus, นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน
Chinese Pond Heron - นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน - Winter plumage
January 2016 - Suan Rot Fai, Bangkok
Almost sure about the identity as I have seen mostly
Chinese Pond Heron in Suan Rot Fai

Indian Pond Heron, or Paddybird, Ardeola grayii
Indian pond heron or Paddybird - Winter plumage
March 2018 - Sundarbans, India
I know that this is an Indian Pond Heron as there
are only Indian Pond Herons in Sundarbans

Javan pond Heron, Ardeola speciosa, นกยางกรอกพันธุ์ชวา
Javan Pond Heron - Winter plumage
January 2017 - Mo Baan Pramong, Thailand
Almost sure about the identity as I was told they only
have the Javan Pond Herons ar Mo Baan Pramong

Chinese Pond Heron, Ardeola bacchus, นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน
Chinese Pond Heron - นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน - Winter plumage
January 2016 - Suan Rot Fai, Bangkok
Almost sure about the identity as I have seen mostly
Chinese Pond Heron in Suan Rot Fai

Indian Pond Heron, or Paddybird, Ardeola grayii
Indian pond heron or Paddybird - Winter plumage
March 2018 - Sundarbans, India
I know that this is an Indian Pond Heron as there
are only Indian Pond Herons in Sundarbans

Chinese Pond Heron, Ardeola bacchus, นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน
Chinese Pond Heron - นกยางกรอกพันธุ์จีน - Winter plumage
January 2016 - Suan Rot Fai, Bangkok
Almost sure about the identity as I have seen mostly Chinese Pond Heron in Suan Rot Fai

Indian Pond Heron, or Paddybird, Ardeola grayii
Indian pond heron or Paddybird - Winter plumage
March 2018 - Sundarbans, India
I know that this is an Indian Pond Heron as there are only Indian Pond Herons in Sundarbans

Indian Pond Heron, or Paddybird, Ardeola grayii
Indian pond heron or Paddybird - Winter plumage
March 2018 - Sundarbans, India
I know that this is an Indian Pond Heron as there are only Indian Pond Herons in Sundarbans

Pond Heron
Indian Pond Herons? Almost sure it is, but can as well be a Chinese Pond Heron
January 2016 - Bandhavgarh National park, India

Pond Heron
Indian Pond Herons? Almost sure it is, but can as well be a Chinese Pond Heron
January 2016 - Bandhavgarh National Park, India

Pond Heron
Looking for fish, Indian Pond Herons? Almost sure it is, but can as well be a Chinese Pond Heron
January 2016 - Kanha National Park, India




In progress of taking more pictures so I can finish this page, so keep an eye out! Much more to come as soon as I have pictures. So be patient, I'm out chasing birds with my camera














PLEASE! If I have made any mistakes identifying any bird, PLEASE let me know on my guestbook



       
                  



                                       
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