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Little Egret

The little egret was once an infrequent visitor to Britain, but in 1989 there was an influx of birds and they have been breeding here since 1996.

They are closely related to herons and will often nest alongside them in trees, which is an incredible sight.

Outside of the breeding season they can be found anywhere there is shallow water, such as shorelines and inshore wetlands.

They have a fondness for stickleback and other small fish.

The nest consists of a platform of sticks or reeds and will contain 4 to 5 eggs which are incubated by both sexes. The eggs take 3 weeks to hatch and the young are fed by both parents on regurgitated foods.

The young stay in the nest for around 1 month after which they clamber about the branches for 10 to 15 days.

They are credited with the founding of the RSPB as their feathers were very popular for decorating ladies hats in the 19th century and certain British women found this as appalling as the egrets and set up a group to protect them. This led to the creation of the RSPB.

Why not view our video footage on this fascinating bird - Videos

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