072 Little Egret
(Egretta garzetta )


55-65cm. The Little Egret is a medium-sized white heron, closer in size to Cattle Egret than to Great Egret, but slim and elegant. Black legs with sharply contrasting bright yellow toes, unlike any other W Palearctic white heron. Bill black, lores blue-grey for greater part of year, reddish during courtship period. In nuptial plumage delicate plumes formed by two elongated nape-feathers.


The Little Egret is a colonial breeder of floodplain gallery forests along Tisza River, Danube, lowland marshlands and fishponds interspersed with trees and bushes. Small colonies established elsewhere in the county e.g. Kis-Balaton. Its population is slightly increasing. Migrant. Occurs in Hungary between March and September, but can be seen regularly in October and occasional occurrences have been recorded in November and December as well.

072 Little Egret pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008