Herons (Ardeidae)

Great White Egret (Egretta alba) - HBW 1, p. 409

French: Grande Aigrette German: Silberreiher Spanish: Garceta Grande
Other common names: Great/Large Egret, Great American Egret, Great White Heron(!)

Taxonomy: Ardea alba Linnaeus, 1758, Europe.
Frequently placed in genus Casmerodius, less often in Ardea; work on DNA indicates closer genetic link with Ardea than with Egretta. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • alba (Linnaeus, 1758) - C Europe to C Asia, S to Iran; winters N & C Africa and Persian Gulf to S China and S Korea.
  • modesta (J. E. Gray, 1831) - India, SE Asia, Japan and Korea S through Indonesia to Australia and New Zealand.
  • melanorhynchos (Wagler, 1827) - Africa S of Sahara, Madagascar.
  • egretta (Gmelin, 1789) - N, C & S America, from N USA to C Argentina.