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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Reddish Egret

Egretta rufescens ORDER: PELECANIFORMES FAMILY: ARDEIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Near Threatened

A medium to large heron of shallow salt water, the Reddish Egret comes in a dark and a white form. It is a very active forager, often seen running, jumping, and spinning in its pursuit of fish.

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Appearance

Herons
Herons
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium to large heron.
  • Bill pink at base, black at tip.
  • Dark phase all dark gray with a reddish neck.
  • White form all white with two-toned bill and dark grey legs.

Immature Description

Similar to adult, but dark phase paler and more washed out.

Range Map Help

Reddish Egret Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Tricolored Heron is slightly smaller and thinner, and has white belly, white line down throat, and white head plumes.
  • Little Blue Heron has less reddish neck and head, sleeker neck feathers, and a bluish base to the bill.
  • White morph resembles other white herons. Snowy Egret is smaller and more slender, has black bill, yellow feet, and yellow skin in front of eyes.
  • Great Egret is larger, has a mostly yellow bill, and deep black legs.
  • Great White Heron, the white form of the Great Blue Heron, is much larger, and has a heavier bill without a dark tip.
  • Immature Little Blue Heron has a dark-tipped bill, but the base is grayish, the legs are green, and the neck is more slender and not shaggy.
  • Cattle Egret is much shorter and stockier, has a thick, usually yellow bill, and often has a reddish wash over the head, back, and chest.