Great Egrets at Nesting

Great Egrets at Nesting

Building nests in mixed heronries on trees, the Great Egret, Ardea alba is a colonial bird. The nest is a platform of sticks. Egrets are seasonally monogamous. Both sexes share domestic duties. Eggs are 3 to 4 and pale green. Breeding birds develop a cluster of ornamental dorsal plumes, falling beyond the tail and an ivy green coloration between the beak and eyes. Males and females are identical in appearance but males may be a little larger.

Male egrets are responsible for selecting a territory and performing a series of rituals in order to attract a female. Mating occurs within the males territory. Breeding season begins in April May. Great egrets breed once a year, the average time to hatching is 23-24 days. The fledgling age is 2-3 weeks. The reproductive age is about 2 years for both males and females.

This specimen is from Keoladeo Ghana National Park or the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan.

Also see https://youtu.be/jBg-3rtSgEI? (An Instinct Denied) , https://youtu.be/evPQBDq0CBk? (Kya Banega Phir Se Gharaunda. A Hindi Version of “An Instinct Denied”) for a fuller film produced by Srimaa Communication which discusses the breeding activity of water birds and the failure of nesting because of scarcity of water. It has studied the painted storks, the open billed storks, the darters, cormorants, cranes, egrets and the baya weaver bird in their wetland surroundings at Keoladeo Ghana National Park

┬ęSrimaa Communication

Acknowledgements-Dr. Yashpal Singh, Mrs. Neena Singh, Mr. Rajesh Bedi, Manoj Kumar Yadav

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