Little Egret: Medium-sized, all white egret with plumes on head, breast, and back. Legs are black with yellow feet. Black bill, and yellow lores. Nonbreeding adult lacks head and back plumes, has gray lores, and shows yellow on lower legs. Difficult to distinguish from Snowy Egret. Flight is direct.
Range and Habitat
Little Egret: Widespread in Africa, Asia, Europe, Indian and Southeast Asia, very rarely wanders to the north Atlantic states of North America.
The Little Egret has a large range, estimated globally at 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 square kilometers. Native to Australia, North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, this bird prefers forest, grassland, wetland, and marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 640,000 to 3,100,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Little Egret is Least Concern.
The Little Egret starred in a BBC documentary that recorded the movement of permanent populations from the Mediterranean into the U.K as a result of milder winters.
Association of the Little Egret with the Snowy Egret in the Caribbean during winter may account for its appearance in the Northeast. This is a similar situation to the colonization of Cattle Egrets in North America.
A group of egrets has many collective nouns, including a "congregation", "heronry", "RSVP", "skewer", and "wedge" of egrets.