Egretta gularis

Egretta gularis (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Ciconiiformes
Familia: Ardeidae
Subfamilia: Ardeinae
Genus: Egretta
Species: Egretta gularis
Subspecies: E. g. gularis - E. g. schistacea


Egretta gularis (Bosc, 1792)

Vernacular names

Ελληνικά : Θαλασσοτσικνιάς
English: Western Reef Egret


Actes de la Société D'Histoire Naturelle 1 p.4 pl.2

The Western Reef Heron, Egretta gularis, also known as the Western Reef Egret, is a medium-sized heron. It occurs mainly on the coasts in tropical west Africa, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and east to India. It has been recorded as a vagrant in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an Australian territory in the eastern Indian Ocean.[citation needed]

Western Reef Heron has occurred as a vagrant twice in Canada and four times in the United States of America, first on Nantucket in April, 1983[1][2] and several times between 2005 and 2007.

The Western Reef Heron's breeding habitat is coastal wetlands. They nest in colonies, often with other wading birds, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. The normal clutch is two or three eggs (although Ahmed Al Ali from UAE recorded a 4 eggs).

This bird has two plumage colour forms. There is an all-white morph and a dark grey morph; intermediate morphs also occur. The white morph is similar in general appearance to the Little Egret, but has a thicker bill, duller legs, and a less elegant appearance. The grey morph is unlikely to be confused with any other species within the range of this egret.

These birds stalk their prey in shallow water, often running or shuffling their feet; they may also stand still and wait to ambush prey. They eat fish, crustaceans, and molluscs.

The taxonomy of this species is being seriously questioned. There are three subspecies; E. g. gularis, schistacea, and dimorpha; all of which seem to be less related than formerly believed.[3] [4]

^ Davis, William; Jr., E. (1985). "Foraging Behavior of a Western Reef Heron in North America". Colonial Waterbirds 8 (1): 70–73. doi:10.2307/1521198. JSTOR 1521198.
^ Pelikan, Matthew (2004-08-13). "Bird News". Vineyard Gazette. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
^ Haass, Nikolas (2006-08-19). "OL comment on Western Reef Heron taxonomy". NJ Birds mailing list. Retrieved 2007-07-12.
^ Haass, Nikolas (2006-08-24). "Re: Western Reef Heron". NJ Birds mailing list. Retrieved 2007-07-12.

BirdLife International (2008). Egretta gularis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 9 February 2009. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern.

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