Snowy Egret

Egretta thula




Bitterns, Herons and Egrets (Ardeidae)

Code 4


Code 6



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Breeding Location:

Lakes, Seashore, rocky or sandy, Marshes, freshwater, Swamps, Rivers

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Colonial

Breeding Population:

Expanding northward, Increasing

Egg Color:

Pale blue green

Number of Eggs:

2 - 6

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Made of sticks and lined with fine materials.





Snowy Egret: Medium-sized, white egret with slender black bill. Legs are black while feet are bright yellow. Head, neck and back have long, lacy plumes during breeding season. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Snowy Egret: Breeds locally from Oregon and California east to southern New England, mainly along coastlines. Spends winters regularly from California, Arizona, and Virginia south to the West Indies, throughout Mexico, and into South America. Preferred habitats include marshes, ponds, swamps, and mudflats.

Breeding and Nesting

Snowy Egret: Lays two to six pale blue-green eggs in a platform nest built primarily of twigs and built in a tree, usually about 7 feet above the ground; occasionally nests in marsh grass and rarely on the ground. Both parents incubate eggs for 18 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Snowy Egret: Eats small fish, crustaceans, and insects, but also takes small reptiles and amphibians; forages by walking slowly or standing motionless in water and striking at prey.


Snowy Egret: Common call is a low croak. When in a colony, emits a bubbling "wulla-wulla-wulla."

Similar Species

Snowy Egret: Great Egret and "Great White" Heron are larger with thicker, yellow bills. Cattle Egret is smaller with yellow or orange bill and pale legs. Reddish Egret and Juvenile Little Blue Heron have dark-tipped pale bills and gray legs.

Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X