What’s in a name?

An egret is a heron … but not all herons are egrets.

Herons are birds in the family Ardeidae that includes typical herons (familiar local species such as the White-faced Heron and White-necked Heron), bitterns, night-herons and egrets.

Egrets belong to the genus Egretta, of which the Great Egret is the species of egret most often encountered at Cairn Curran, while the White-faced Heron belongs to the genus Ardea (Latin for heron).

Both of these herons utilise the shallow margins of Cairn Curran throughout the year in search of small fish, frogs and invertebrates and will happily move into local wetlands when conditions are suitable. White-faced Herons often feed in flooded paddocks, Great Egrets rarely do so. Both tend to be highly territorial when feeding and will chase off intruding herons to maintain their domain.


Great Egret, Cairn Curran Reservoir, 14th April 2022








Great Egret displacing a White-faced Heron

4 responses to “What’s in a name?

  1. je ne egret ‘eron

  2. Love the displacement shot. Pecking orders everywhere. Ain’t called the great egret for nothing!

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