Great Egret (Casmerodius albus)

A species that is expanding rapidly at present, both west and north from its original distribution of the eastern half of the Western Palearctic. A large Egret the size of a Grey Heron, it can easily be told apart from its smaller cousins both by its size and its snake-like neck. Although I have seen them feeding in open farmland in their geographical strongholds of central and eastern Europe, I have only ever found Great Egrets tied to water in Portugal, where they prefer open shallowish lakes, both coastal and inland. Before the turn of the century this species was rare in the Iberian Peninsula, but nowadays it is resident and a regular though still uncommon species.

Birding in Portugal

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