The intermediate egret (Ardea intermedia) belongs to the family, Ardeidae. The intermediate egret is distributed in the Indian subcontinent, Africa, China, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia and Australia.
- Scientific Name: Ardea intermedia
- Common Name: Intermediate egret
- French: Héron intermédiaire; German: Asienmittelreiher; Spanish: Garceta intermedia;
- Other names: median egret, smaller egret, yellow-billed egret, Egretta intermedia and Mesophoyx intermedia;
- Family: Ardeidae › Pelecaniformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
- Species author: Wagler, 1829
|Indian birds - Intermediate egret - Ardea intermedia|
DescriptionThe intermediate egrets are medium birds, measuring 55 to 70 cm in length and weighing 400 to 500 grams. The wingspan is 105 to 115 cm. The have white plumage which may be a little creamish or off-white. The breeding intermediate egret species may have a reddish or black bill and greenish yellow gape skin. Loose filamentous plumes are seen on their breast and back. A dull yellow or pink coloration is observed on their upper legs.
HabitatThe intermediate egret species inhabit lowlands, sheltered flood-plains, seasonal wetlands, shallow mudflats with emergent grasses and reeds, shallow waters with aquatic vegetation, flooded marshes, ponds, lakes, saltwater and brackish deltas, tidal streams and mangrove swamps.
Feeding habitsThe intermediate egret species feed on small fish, frogs, crustaceans, aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, small reptiles and small birds and mammals.
BreedingThe breeding season various regionally. In North India, the season is between July and september and in South India, the breeding season is from November to February. They nest on trees standing in water. The breeding platforms are constructed out of sticks and other available vegetation.
DistributionIn the Indian Subcontinent the intermediate egret species are distributed in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They also occur in central and east China, south Japan, Australia, Africa and southeast Asian countries. They winter in Malay Peninsula, Philippines and Indonesia.
Movement PatternsThese egret species are mainly sedentary. Post breeding dispersals take place. During winter southward movement may take place.
Status and conservationHunting, habitat degradation, reclamation of wetlands and introduced species of predators are the main threats to these egret species.
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these egret species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".
Image source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Intermediate_Egret_in_breeding_plumage.1_-_Fogg_Dam_-_Middle_Point_-_Northern_Territory_-_Australia.jpg
Author: GDW.45 | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Intermediate egret - Ardea intermedia.