About animals

White Herons - Egretta


Latin name:Egretta garzetta
Additionally:European species description

Appearance and behavior. The heron is medium in size, noticeably smaller than the large white, but larger than the yellow and Egyptian. Body length 55–65 cm, weight 350–550 grams, wingspan 88–95 cm. It has a very elegant physique and a small head with a long and thin beak. In birds in mating attire, in addition to the lush “cape” of delicate egret feathers on the back, there is a long “pendant” in the lower part of the neck and a crest of several (usually two) long narrow feathers, which is never the case with a great white heron.

In autumn and winter, egret, pendant and crest are not expressed. The most reliable distinguishing feature can be considered when a small white heron demonstrates its legs: yellow fingers sharply contrast with a black foregrip. He likes to stay in small groups in shallow water, is quite mobile and not particularly careful. These herons often fly in packs, and rarely line up in a wedge or line, usually flying in a heap like starlings. Active mainly during the day.

Description. The plumage is completely white in birds of any age and in any season. The beak and legs are black, the fingers in the mating dress are bright yellow, in the winter they are dull and dirty yellow, but they always differ in color from the tarsus, even in young birds, in which they are more likely greenish. The beak is black in all seasons (in young birds it is dark with a yellowish base of the mandible). The bare skin around the eyes and the bridle are bluish in autumn and winter and yellow (to orange) in the mating season. In young birds, these areas are grayish. Eyes yellow at any age.

Vote most closely resembles the croaking of a practically raven timbre. Screams quite often.

Distribution Status. The breeding range includes the southern regions of Europe, Africa, southern Asia, and Australia. In European Russia it is found in the south, along the coasts of the Black, Azov and Caspian seas and in the lower reaches of the rivers flowing into them. In most places it inhabits, it is quite common, in some it is the most noticeable and numerous of herons. Migratory bird, the nearest wintering is in Transcaucasia.

Lifestyle. It usually nests in colonies on trees, much less often in reed beds, along the banks of various reservoirs, often together with other near-water birds. On trees, nests built from thin, long, dry rods are fixed on horizontal branches, sometimes very far from the trunk. The shape of the nest, like other species of herons, resembles an inverted cone with translucent walls.

Both partners build the nest, and the male brings the material, and the female puts it in the nest and protects the building from other herons nesting in the neighborhood. In clutch 4–5 greenish-blue eggs. The female incubates masonry mainly for 25 days. Fledged chicks move to the branches of a tree, where they spend most of the day, when their parents appear, the chicks rush to their nest, where they receive food.

Flying young birds feed for the first time near the colonies and return to them for the night. They feed on invertebrates, small fish and other suitable animals.

Little egret (Egretta garzetta)

Northern Great Egret Egretta alba alba (Egretta alba alba)

It nests from the middle reaches of the Danube and the western parts of the Balkan Peninsula (Slavonia, Montenegro, Hungary) to northern China and northern Japan. To the south it nests on the Balkan Peninsula up to approximately 40 ° C. w. (Albania, Macedonia), in Asia Minor, Persia and Afghanistan (but not in India), in Kashgar. From the north it nests in Bessarabia and estuaries flowing into the Black, Azov and Caspian Seas, in the regions of Uman, on the river. Orel, Dnepropetrovsk, Valkovsky, and Sarpinsky lakes, in the lower reaches of Irgiz and Turgai, in the Atbasarsky district (and, perhaps, along the lakes between the upper reaches of Ishim and Tobol), in the Zaysan depression, in Mongolia and in the Amur Region to the mouths of the Amur. It winters in northern Africa (where nesting has not been proven) and in some places of nesting: in eastern Transcaucasia, and the Trans-Caspian region and Turkestan, in Kashgaria, in Alashan, as well as Mesopotamia, Belyuchistan, in a small number in northern India, except for eastern parts in China. Span is (or flies, but does not nest, contrary to some indications) in Spain, Italy, Greece, and Crimea, reaching even the Canary and British Isles, Sweden, Poland, Courland, regions of Minsk, Kharkov, Voronezh, Kamyshin, Tomsk.

Southern Great Egret Egretta alba modesta (Egretta alba modesta)

It nests throughout India and Indo-China and along the intermediate islands to Australia inclusively to the south and to China, Korea and the southern and middle parts of Japan to the north. A female in a mating outfit on April 15, 1885 in Sidemi and a specimen in the winter feather (without specifying the sex and date) in Abrek Bay were caught in the South Russian Iurisk Territory.

Middle Egret Egretta intermedia (Egretta Intermedia)

In a typical subspecies (E. int. Intermedia) nests in India, Indo-China and China, to the Philippines and Sunda Islands to the east and south, and to Japan to the northeast, including Esso. Other very close subspecies nest in Australia, E. int. plumifera (Gould) with more or less yellow tibia and always yellow beak - and in the tropical part of Africa, E. Int. brachyrhyncha is slightly larger than the Australian form, which is extremely similar.

The Asian subspecies of the medium egret, E. intermedia intermedia, is introduced into our fauna on the basis of a specimen in full breeding feathers discovered and identified by Buturlin at the 1923 All-Union Exhibition in a group of stuffed local birds from Vladivostok (now in the Museum of Moscow State University). This bird was caught on May 9, 1922 on the island of Popova. But of the specimens cited by Tachanovsky under the name E. a, modesta, one female, obtained in August in Sidemi (unfortunately, without specifying the color of the bare parts of willows in the full winter feather), judging by the size, belongs to the same species: wing 352 mm, metatarsus 137 mm, beak from the plumage of the forehead 90 mm. The corresponding measurements of the specimen from the exhibition 192.3 g .: 307, 101, 96 mm, decorating the feathers of the back by 105 mm exceed the end of the tail. By the way, it should be noted that the dimensions indicated for this form by Hartert, namely the metatarsal beak, are very far from the limit, both to the lower and especially to the upper side.

White egret

Middle Egret - Egretta intermedia - A rare, irregularly nesting species. In the RSFSR, the nesting of the white egret was established on Lake. Khanka, where in 1971 2 nests were found in one of the colonies of gray, red and large white herons. In all likelihood, it nests in other places of Southern Primorye. It prefers to nest in reservoirs with dense thickets of reeds, shrubs and woody plants, in mixed colonies of other ciconiiformes.

During the period of migrations and migrations, the average white herons keep one by one, in two or form flocks of 3-10, rarely of 20-25 birds.

This is a medium-sized heron, body length 65-72 cm. It lives in Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia. Two subspecies are known.


Heron Only legs, only neck, The rest is nonsense, The rest is only the body, That is where the food goes. Pokes water with a long beak, Like a hose with a bayonet, And fish and frogs Absorbs the whole. Well, and by the evening he’ll get tired, He’ll tighten one leg And he will freeze lonely, Like a knight Don Quixote. IN


Heron Only legs, only neck, The rest is nonsense, The rest is only the body, That is where the food goes. Pokes water with a long beak, Like a hose with a bayonet, And fish and frogs Absorbs the whole. Well, and by the evening he’ll get tired, He’ll tighten one leg And he will freeze lonely, Like a knight Don Quixote. IN


Heron Key property: independence and self-sufficiency Activity period: spring There are many varieties of herons, including bittern and white heron (keep in mind that storks and cranes are completely different birds). Herons live in marshy areas and in shallow water.

The text of the scientific work on the topic "New data on the nesting of the Egretta intermedia medium egret on hanka lake"

We also observed the attack of the peregrine falcon on a goshawk, flying to the nest with a pigeon in its paws. The falcon struck several times on short throws of the hawk from above, and he was forced to abandon its prey and fly away.

During the summer wanderings, peregrine falcons actively search for prey, flying around large areas.

The described hunting methods are productive only if bird movements occur daily through the peregrine falcon habitat (Vitovich 1989). And such movements (daily or seasonal) occur only in large river valleys. In Karachay-Cherkessia, these are the valleys of the Kuban, Teberda, Aksaut, Maruhi, Bolshoi Zelenchuk, Urup, Bolshaya Laba. Peregrine falcons live in all these places.

Vitovich O.A. 1989. Peregrine Falcon in Karachay-Cherkessia // Ornithological resources

North Caucasus: Abstract. doc. scientific and practical. conf. Stavropol. Mnatsekanov P.A. 1989. Towards nesting peregrine falcon on the Lagonaki Highlands // Ecological problems of the Stavropol Territory and adjacent territories: Abstracts. doc. regional scientific and practical. conf. Stavropol. Mnatsekanov P.A., Tilba P.A. 1990. Peregrine falcon nutrition in the Krasnodar Territory // Rare, small and poorly studied birds of the North Caucasus: Materials of scientific and practical. conf. Stavropol. Tilba P.A. 1985. About peregrine falcon nesting in the central part of the Western Caucasus // Birds of the North-West Caucasus. M. Khokhlov A.N., Vitovich O.A. 1990. The current state of rare species of birds in the Stavropol Territory and the problems of their protection // Rare, small and poorly studied birds of the North Caucasus: Materials of scientific and practical. conf. Stavropol.

Russian Ornithological Journal 2000, Express Edition 114: 20-22

New data on the nesting of Egretta intermedia on the Khanka Lake

Ussuri Pedagogical Institute, Nekrasova St., 35, Ussuriysk, 692500, Russia 2) Khankai State Nature Reserve, 6 Ershov St., Spassk-Dalniy, Primorsky Krai, 692210, Russia

Received October 3, 2000

The first two nests of the medium egret Egretta intermedia for Russia were found in 1971 at the southern tip of Lake Khanka in a mixed colony of herons located in the estuary part of the river. Misty (Lefu) (Polivanova, Glushchenko 1977). In the summer of 1973-1980, the average white

herons were observed almost annually along the entire southern and eastern shores of Lake. Khanka, and the meetings of young individuals in mid-July-early August 1976-1977 made them assume that they nest irregularly in the eastern part of the Khanka lowland (Glushchenko 1981). However, a periodic examination of the aforementioned colony, carried out until 1994, did not give positive results.

In 1999-2000, when resuming searches in the same colony, a settlement of medium white herons was found, counting (judging by the number of birds flying over the colony when frightened, as well as according to a ground-based survey of part of the settlement), respectively, 20-30 and 30-40 breeding pairs. The settlement was located in the central part of an extensive diffuse multi-species colony of herons and large cormorants Pha-lacrocorax carbo, compactly occupying a small area of ​​willow thickets. The minimum distance between the nests of medium white herons reached 105 cm, and the entire settlement occupied an area of ​​about 600 m2.

On June 22, 1999, feathered chicks were found in all of the examined nests of the average white heron, whereas on May 25, 2000 clutches were found, both with un-hatched eggs and at different stages of hatching. In the latter case, 7 nests were examined in detail, five of which had 3 eggs, in one 4, in one 1 egg. The nests were located at a height of 115-180 cm from the ground (or from the water). The average height of the nests was 141 cm. The nests were relatively small, loose and almost flat structures made almost entirely of dry willow twigs, while the dry reed stalks, so usual for the nests of large white egrets Egretta alba, accounted for only a negligible part building material of individual nests.

The thickness of the nest was 9-35, an average of 21.3 cm. The diameter of the "dense" part of the nest was within 27-49, an average of 33.9 cm. The total diameter of the nests, taking into account the ends sticking out to the sides, varied from 39 to 65 cm , averaging 53.9 cm. The tray was weakly expressed, and its approximate diameter was 15.5-24.0, an average of 19.5 cm.

The eggs had a color typical of herons, differing in a more elongated shape. Sizes of 20 eggs, mm: 44.7-58.3x32.3-38.8, on average 53.1x36.6.

In the other three heron colonies examined by us in May-June 2000, located in the southern half of the Prikhankaiskaya lowland (including the colony on Kalugin Island), average white herons were absent.

Thus, the formation of any significant settlement of the average white heron on Lake. Hanka occurred between 1995 and 1999. It is still difficult to predict the future fate of this settlement. It is obvious only that the positive effect for fixing the nesting population of this species, listed in the Red Book of Russia, will have an early inclusion of the entire estuarine part of the river. Mud in the Khan-kai reserve. This will reduce the effect of the bird disturbance factor in the colony and on the feeding grounds, and the risk factor for the burnt-out thicket, where this is the only known breeding settlement Egretta intermedia in our country.

This work was supported by the World Wildlife Fund (grant 2440 / RU0075.01 / GLM).

Glushchenko Yu.N. 1981. To the fauna of nesting birds of the Khanka lowland //

Rare birds of the Far East. Vladivostok: 25-33. Polivanova H.H., Glushchenko Yu.N. 1977. New data on some rare and small birds of Primorye // Materials of the 12th All-Union. ornithol. conf. Kiev: 95-96.

Russian Ornithological Journal 2000, Express Edition 114: 22-23

About the green scum of Phylloscopus trochiloides in Pskov and its environs

Department of Zoology, Ryazan Pedagogical University, Ryazan, 390000, Russia Received August 28, 2000

The green scum of Phylloscopus trochilus viridanus Blyth, 1843 began to settle in the east through northwestern Russia from the beginning of the 20th century. On the territory of the Pskov region it was first observed by N.A. Zarudny (1910) in June 1902 in the mixed forests of the Savina Desert near Pskov. Rare meetings with her in the vicinity of Pskov and Izborsk took place in the following years - in 1903, 1905 and 1906. In 1906, N.A. Zarudny observed several individuals also near the estate of Horus in the former Porkhov district. In the same years, a green scum appeared near St. Petersburg, in Estonia and Finland (see: Malchevsky, Pukinsky 1983). The first strong resettlement wave of the species in question was observed in the 1930s, when the first ones for the territory of the Leningrad Region were found on the Karelian Isthmus near Zelenogorsk. nests (ibid.).

The next meeting with a green wand in the Pskov region. registered in 1959 and 1960 (Meshkov 1961). In 1963 on the river. Tolba at the village Eli-Zarovo near Pskov found the first nest for the territory of the region (Uryadova, Shcheblykina 1993). In 1962, the nesting of the green scum was first established for Estonia (Lillelecht 1963 - cited from: Malchevsky, Pukinsky 1983). In subsequent years, no mention of this species from the Pskov region. did not appear in the literature. According to the oral report of A.B. Bardin, in the 1970s, singing green stumps in a small number were met annually in the vicinity of the city of Pechora.

In June 2000, when we conducted regular bird observations and route surveys in Pskov and its environs, we were able to detect

Heron description

The appearance of the heron, especially its color, largely depends on the species to which the bird belongs. However, it is possible to note certain external characteristics that are characteristic of all herons in this family. So, herons are marsh birds on long and thin legs without membranes. There are small, medium and large herons in size. All herons have special powders with which they dust the plumage, and does not lubricate it, unlike other near-water birds. A special finger is located on the foot of the heron, which differs in shape (it is slightly longer) - its heron uses it as a “comb”. The wings at the ends are blunt. The neck is curved, S-shaped. The beak is long, large and powerful. Herons have a typical physique: long legs and neck, vertically located body of the body.

White Heron Description

White herons are medium and large. In the plumage there is always a white tone, regardless of the variety (a very large number of subspecies of this bird are known). Color can be either predominantly white (for example, in a small heron), or simply present (in a blue-footed heron). Sometimes it can manifest itself only at a certain age of birds - as in young blue heron. Paws are dark gray.Body weight - about 1 kilogram, depending on the population.

Description of Egyptian Heron

Egyptian herons have a shorter beak compared to other members of the genus. The neck and head are painted in a yellow-ocher tone, the body is white, the beak is yellow-lemon. During the mating season, some changes occur in the appearance of the Egyptian heron - it has a yellow crest and untwisted elongated feathers in the back area of ​​the same yellowish tint. In the fall they fall out. The wing reaches a length of 22 cm to 25 cm.

Gray Heron Description

The gray heron has a large neck and legs. The plumage is painted in gray and gray shades. Dark streaks run along the entire upper part of the neck of the heron. Bill is brown, wings are darker than body, legs are grayish-yellow. On the head of a gray heron is located the so-called pigtail (a kind of head "hat"). The body weight in some cases reaches 2 kg, the standard weight of gray herons is 1.5 kg. Males are usually larger than females. The wing length of the former is approximately 47.2 cm, of the latter 45.8 cm.

Types of Herons

There are a large number of herons, which form not only species, but also subspecies . In general, this family of herons includes 63 species that belong to 16 genera. The most famous and common types of herons:

  • gray heron (consists of 4 subspecies),
  • egret (consists of at least 12 subspecies),
  • egyptian heron
  • red heron
  • heron and so on.

Heron habits

The heron is, first of all, a marsh bird, therefore its habits are appropriate. It forms entire colonies, equipping nests in reed creases, on stunted trees or shrubs growing close to marshy ponds. Heron movements are slow and majestic, accompanied by stretching the neck forward. A heron can go hunting either alone or in groups. The heron is most active at dusk and during the day (at this time it gets its own food). When late evening comes, he tries to take refuge in a shelter.

The gray heron spends a long time standing on one leg in complete immobility. All species of this bird are quite aggressive towards each other during feeding, so they often take one caught food from the other. If danger is in danger, the heron extends its neck and freezes, but it is ready to take off at any moment. When hunting, a heron keeps its head down, looking for a prey. If it comes across large, then the heron first sharply hits it, then grabs it with its beak and shakes it. Egyptian herons have slightly different habits, since they always adhere to herds of large animals (usually wild ungulates), on the back of which they spend a very long time.

Heron habitats

Egyptian heron is found mainly in the southern hemisphere. Recently was seen at the mouth of the Volga. It lives widely in Africa, where it is distributed from the southern regions of the continent to the east coast and Senegal. It also populates the South Asian territories. It is found in the B. Sunda Islands, the Philippines and southern Japan. White herons are more widespread and are found everywhere, with the exception of Antarctica. Especially a lot of them in Africa. In Russia, mainly three species live - gray, small and large white herons.

Gray heron is distributed mainly in Asia, Europe (in countries with a temperate climate), inhabiting zones from the Japanese islands and Sakhalin to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean (in the north - to Yakutsk and St. Petersburg, in the south - to Ceylon and northwestern Africa ) The red heron is found in the southern regions of the Iberian Peninsula - its breeding sites go to Pakistan and Iraq through Hungary and the entire Balkan peninsula. It can also be found in Hindustan, Indochina, China, Ceylon and Primorye. In the east it covers the territory of Taiwan, Ryuko, the Philippine Islands, in the south - M. Sunda Islands and Sulawesi. It is not rare in Africa.

Where does the heron live?

Any heron lives, first of all, in a marshland. However, the specifics in this case depend most of all on the species to which the heron belongs. For example, Egyptian herons can live among herds of ungulates (hippos, rhinos, etc.), on the backs of which they spend most of their time. Gray heron is a typical representative of birds that are found along lakes, streams, rivers and swamps. At the same time, the salinity of the water does not matter to them. For herons, the main factor is the presence of shallow water. White heron lives near water bodies located both within the continent and by the sea. Her favorite places to live are mangroves, salt and fresh water lakes, shores, floodplains, and marshy lowlands. It is found among agricultural plantations, in the fields, at drainage canals.

What does a heron eat

The basic diet of any kind of herons is made up of frogs, fish, crayfish, snakes, tailless amphibians, rodents. The heron also feeds on all kinds of insects (crickets, grasshoppers) and their larvae, field mice, rats, medium-sized gophers and lizards. The red heron can peck locusts, and the Egyptian heron can eat ticks and under-body insects, which it catches in wool and on animal skins. White heron often eats chicks of sparrows and other medium-sized birds.

Heron hunting

Heron hunting in the Russian Federation is prohibited - due to the small number of this bird. The peak of its production occurred in the 19th century. Then, the nobility had such a privilege, but the common people were strictly forbidden to hunt for herons, since the heron was considered noble. Heron used to be a classic trophy in falconry and gun hunting.

Class - Birds / Subclass - Newborn / Squadron - Ciconiiformes

The average white heron (Latin Egretta intermedia) is a species of birds of the heron family.

It is mainly found from eastern Africa along the tropical zone of southern Asia to Australia.

Heron of medium size.

As a rule, males are slightly larger than females. The plumage is completely white. The beak is long, straight, painted yellow. Paws and fingers are long, dark gray. The neck is long, S-shaped.

Usually nests in colonies with other herons, often on platforms made of heaps of tree branches and shrubs. The female lays 2-5 eggs.

Herons inhabit the coasts and shallows of fresh and brackish water bodies. On the island of Shikotan, birds nested in a swampy valley of a stream overgrown with reeds and Kuril bamboo with separate groups of trees. Spring migrations in April - May, autumn - in September. The nest found on the island of Shikotan was located in the fork of a willow trunk, 5 m from the ground. Building material: willow branches, Kurilian bamboo stalks and dry grass. There were 2 chicks in the nest on July 12 and 13. Lifestyle not studied. The main food is fish and aquatic insects.

He searches for food in flooded fields, feeds, slowly wandering in shallow water. Sometimes it looks for prey from the branches of low trees. It feeds on frogs, crustaceans and insects.

At a low level. One pair of birds nested on Shikotan. On Sakhalin, during the period of migrations and summer migrations, solitary birds were most often observed.

White egret and man

Heron hunting is prohibited. It is important to preserve wetlands, eliminate the disturbance factor, limit the number of crows in the nesting sites of this species, and protect birds on the nests.

General characteristics and field characteristics

A slender heron of medium size (body length about 70 cm) and a typical “heron” build. The plumage is friable, purely white in color. In the mating attire, on the back there are distinguished long feathers (egrettes) protruding 10-15 cm beyond the top of the tail. On the lower side of the neck and goiter there are studied feathers up to 20 cm long, forming a “mane”. Elongated feathers on the head are absent. Seasonal changes in the color of the beak are characteristic.

It is larger in size than the small and yellow-billed, but smaller than the southern and large white herons. In terms of flight and the nature of movement on the ground, it also occupies an intermediate position between relatively small (small, yellow-billed) and large (large and southern) white herons. In addition, it differs from yellow-billed and small white herons in one-fingered fingers (black, not yellow), and in the mating outfit - by the absence of elongated feathers on the back of the head and relatively longer egrettes, far extending beyond the top of the tail. In addition to the smaller and larger south egrets, it differs entirely by its black legs, high at the base and a short beak, and in mating attire - by the presence of long studied feathers on the goiter. At a short distance, it is noticeable that in the middle white heron the angle of the mouth ends right under the eye, and does not go much further, as in the large white heron (Cramp, 1977, Beaman, Madge, 1998).

The flight is calm and straightforward, with deep flaps of wide wings. It takes off quickly and easily. During the flight, the legs are extended beyond the top of the tail, and the neck is bent vertically and pulled into the shoulders. Inhabits wetlands. Settles with other species of herons. During wanderings and migrations, he prefers to stay in groups, often combining with other species of white herons, forming sparse clusters on feeding. Immature birds in the summer lead a nomadic life, meeting far beyond the breeding range.

Structure and dimensions

Slender bird. The neck is long and thin, but it looks noticeably thicker and shorter than other white herons, the legs are long. The beak is relatively somewhat shorter and higher than other white egrets found within Russia.

Dimensions (mm). The wing length of males is 290-325, tarsus 110-130, and beak 70-96 (Stepanyan, 2003). The bird, caught in Primorye (sex not established), had a wing length of 307, a spindle length of 101, and a beak length of 96 (Buturlin and Dementiev, 1935). Sizes of males and females from China: wing length 280-330, foregrip length 98-100, beak length 67.5-100 (Ivanov, 1961). Individuals from the North. Korea: female - wing 313, tarsus 114, tail 122, beak 74, bird of indefinite sex - wing 308, tarsus 111, tail 118, beak 71 (Tomek, 1999). Birds caught on Sakhalin: males (n = 2) - wing 303 and 313, pinch 117-118, beak 76 and 76.5 (Takahashi, 1937), female - wing 290, pinch 105, tail 123, beak 71 (Nechaev , 1991).

Birds caught in the Primorsky Territory: males (n = 2) - wing length 300 and 300, length of tarsus 105 and 115, length of beak 75 and 75, females (n = 3) - length of wing 295, 300 and 300, talus length 100 , 103 and 105, the length of the beak is 70, 74 and 75, birds whose gender is not installed (n = 3) - the length of the wing is 290, 295 and 300, the length of the spine 103, 108 and 110, the length of the beak is 70.71 and 72 (call BPI FEB RAS and FENU, Vladivostok).

Sizes of males and females (mm) of the subspecies E. i. intermedia (Cramp, 1977): wing length on average 299 mm (275-327, n = 13), tail length - 118 (103-135, n = 7), beak length - 72.8 (66-76, n = 14), the length of the forearm is 106 (93-111, n = 7).

The mass of birds from China: males (n = 2) - 470 g and 642 g, a female - 600 g, a bird whose gender is not installed - 700 g (Ivanov, 1961). Female fished to the south. Sakhalin, weighed 458 g (Nechaev, 1991).


Full annual molting of adult birds takes place from July to November. Partial pre-molting occurs during wintering. Young birds in a nesting outfit begin to change small feathers in August, continue in the fall and finish during wintering; in the second year of life, they undergo a full annual molt.

Two birds caught in the area of ​​the hall. Olga (Primorsky Krai) on May 20, 1980, was in a mating outfit, however, the male's beak was yellow with a dark top, and in the female - black with a yellow base. Of the three birds caught on the lake. Khanka, one specimen of June 30, 1978 had no shedding, in specimen. from July 15, 1977, molting of the small plumage began, the adult female, caught on July 25, 1980, was in the midst of full molting (about a third of the fly and tail feathers were lost or growing, intense molting of the small plumage took place).

Subspecies taxonomy

A polytypical species, the geographical variability of which is manifested in the general size and variation in the color of the non-feathered parts of the body (beak, legs, bridle). Three subspecies, of which only nominative is known within Russia.

1.Egretta intermedia intermedia.

Ardea intermedia Wagler, 1829, Isis, stb. 659, Java.

The overall dimensions are somewhat larger, and the color of the undecided part of the tibia is black, not yellowish-orange, as in the other two subspecies. In the non-breeding season, the beak is yellow with a black top. Inhabits the South., Southeast. and, partly, East. Asia

Subspecies E. and plumifera (Gould, 1848) (2) distributed in Australia, on about. New Guinea and the adjacent islands, is smaller in size, and the color of the fledgling parts of the body approaches the African race. Subspecies E. and brachyrhyncha (A.E. Brehm, 1854) (3) distributed in the Center, and South. Africa, in size, is approaching a nominative subspecies, but has a yellowish-orange beak and an undecorated part of the tarsus.

Taxonomy notes

The middle egret is sometimes referred to the monotypic genus Mesophoyx Sharpe, 1894 (more often treated as a subgenus of the genus Egretta) or placed in the genus Casmerodius Gloger, 1842, together with the great egret. DNA hybridization studies have shown a closer relationship between medium and large white herons with the genus Ardea than with Egretta (Sheldon, 1987). Thus, the systematic position of the average egret requires further study and refinement.


Nesting range. Center, and South. Africa, Sri Lanka, Burma, Indonesia, China, Japan, Korean Peninsula, Moluccas, North. and East. Australia (Spangenberg, 1951, Stepanyan, 2003, Vaurie, 1965, Dickinson, 2003, and others). Middle white herons of the nominative subspecies nest in the central and southern regions of China, on the islands of Taiwan and Hainan (Mackinnon, Phillipps, 2000), in Hong Kong (Carey et al., 2001), in the central and southern regions of the Korea Peninsula (Won Pyong-oh, 1996, Tomek, 1999), in Japan - on the islands of Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Sado (Check-list of Japanese birds, 2000), as well as in India and Sri Lanka.

Figure 59.
a - nesting range, b - designated places of isolated nesting, c - wintering areas of northern populations. Subspecies: 1 - Egretta i. intermedia, 2 - E. i. plumifera, 3 - E. i. brachyrhyncha.

In the south of the Russian Far East, nesting is recorded on Lake. Khanka (Polivanova, Glushchenko, 1977; Glushchenko, Mrikot, 2000) and on Fr. Shikotan, Kuril Islands (Dynets, 1996). A nesting attempt was observed in the area of ​​Olga Bay, Primorsky Krai (Labzyuk, 1981). In addition, nesting is expected in the extreme southwest of Primorye (Litvinenko, Shibaev, 1999).

Figure 60.
a - the designated nesting place, b - the area of ​​bird encounters during seasonal migrations and summer migrations, c - the estimated nesting place, d - the avian.


Birds of the nominative subspecies winter in the Southeast. Asia: in southern China, on the islands of Taiwan and Hainan (Cheng Tso-Hsin, 1987, Mackinnon, Phillipps, 2000), the Philippines, Kalimantan, Indonesia (Vaurie, 1965), Vietnam (Wo Qi, 1983), Thailand (Lekagul, Round, 1991), in the southern regions of Japan (Kyushu Island and the islands located to the south) (Check-ist of Japanese birds, 2000), Hong Kong (Carey et al., 2001).

The first flights to the territory of the Primorsky Territory were recorded at the beginning of the 20th century (Buturlin, Dementiev, 1935, Belopolsky, 1955). Since the 1960s they became more frequent and regular (Litvinenko, Shibaev, 1965, Labzyuk et al., 1971, Elsukov, 1974, Glushchenko, 1981, Labzyuk, 1981, 1990). Overflights were noted in the Lower Amur Region (Babenko, 2000), on Sakhalin (Nechaev, 19916), Moneron (Nechaev, 1975), Yuzh. Kuril Islands: Kunashir (Nechaev, 1969) and Shikotan (Dykhan, 1990) and Kamchatka (Artyukhin et al., 2000). In the northern part of Japan, flights were recorded on about. Hokkaido (Check-list of Japanese birds, 2000).


In South. Primorye spring migrations occur in late April and May. The earliest appearance was recorded on April 14, 1993 in the extreme south of Primorye at the mouth of the river. Misty (data by Yu. N. Glushchenko), April 26, 2004 in the vicinity of Ussuriysk (Glushchenko et al., 2006), April 27, 1994 on Lake Khanka (Glushchenko et al., 2006) and April 27, 1979 in the hall. Olga (Labzyuk, 1981). Post-nesting wanderings on the lake. Khanka occur in August, and the latest reliable meeting in the fall was noted on September 17, 1973. In the vicinity of Vladivostok (the mouth of the Shmitovka river), one individual was observed on September 16, 2007 (data from Yu. N. Glushchenko). On about. Shikotan of two birds was observed on October 16, 1986 (Dyhan, 1990).


At Hank, two colonies in which medium white herons nested were located in the estuary part of the river. Sludge in a strip of flooded willows surrounded by a lake-swamp massif. Feeding areas here are raw meadows, grassy swamps, shallow lakes and rice fields. On about. Shikotan birds nested in a swampy floodplain of the stream, in reed beds with Kurilian bamboo curtains and groups of trees (Dynets, 1996). During the period of seasonal migrations and summer migrations, white egrets are found along the shores of lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, in rice fields, moist meadows, and grassy bogs, both in the interior and on the coast.

In China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan, medium-sized herons inhabit grassy marshes, moist meadows, marches, mud banks, and rice fields (A field guide to the birds of Asia,

1993).In Japan, they arrange nests on pines and bamboo thickets (Jahn, 1942), on the Korean Peninsula - on trees surrounding rice fields (Gore, Won Pyong-oh, 1971).


On the lake Hanka nests not regularly and with variable numbers. For the first time, two nests were found in the estuary part of the river. Mud in 1971 (Polivanova, Glushchenko, 1977). In the years 1973-1980. the species was recorded almost annually in the summer in the southern and eastern regions of the Prikhankaiskaya lowland, and in 1976-1977. young individuals were noted, which suggests their irregular nesting during this period (Glushchenko, 1981). In 1999-2002 medium-sized white herons were again found breeding in the same colony, however, their abundance, determined in 1999 and 2000. respectively, in 20-30 and 30-40 nesting pairs (Glushchenko, Mrikot, 2000), it turned out to be overstated. In fact, from 7 to 10 pairs could nest here (Glushchenko et al., 2003). In 2000, 8 pairs nested, and the three examined nests contained 1.3 and 4 eggs. In 2002, the species was not found at all here, and in June 2003, 1 to 3 birds were observed in one of the subcolonies of the delta of the river. Silty. A loner was also seen feeding in the meadows in the vicinity of. Sivakovka (Glushchenko et al., 2003).

On the coast hall. Olga (Primorsky Territory) at the mouth of the river. Avvakumovka marked an unsuccessful attempt at nesting: birds began to build a nest, but later it turned out to be abandoned (Labzyuk, 1981). In addition to the breeding population in the southern and eastern regions of the Primorsky Territory, in the warm season (mainly from May to July), individual single birds and their groups, numbering up to 10 or more birds, were regularly met (Litvinenko, Shibaev, 1965, 1999, Labzyuk et al., 1971, Yelsukov, 1974, Voloshina et al., 1999, Labzyuk, 1981, 1990, Glushchenko, Nazarov, original.). On about. Shikotan in 1988 found a nest with two chicks (Dinets, 1996).

In Japan, the average egret is not numerous in summer and small in winter in the extreme south (A field guide to the birds of Japan, 1982). In China, it is a common species (Mackinnon, Phillipps, 2000), in Hong Kong it is common in both summer and winter (Carey et al., 2001), in North. Korea is rare in nesting (Toshek, 1999), and in South. Korea is not numerous in the breeding season (Won Pyong-oh, 1996).


The main objects of nutrition are aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates (mollusks, spiders, insects and their larvae) and vertebrates (fish, amphibians) animals. Stomach of a bird caught on about. Sakhalin May 26, 1974, contained the remains of larvae of aquatic insects (Nechaev, 1991). In the stomach of a bird obtained on June 30, 1978 on Lake Khanka, turned out to be a rotan head (.Perccottus glenii) and three dragonfly larvae, and three larvae of swimmers, a spider and the remains of insect chitin (Glushchenko, orig.) Were found in the stomach of an individual obtained there July 25, 1980.

Enemies, adverse factors

In a colony on the coast of Lake. Hank herons experience a powerful press from the main competitor - the great cormorant. Another significant negative factor here is the high level of anxiety on the part of people and livestock. It is especially great in dry years, when the marshy lowland becomes easily accessible (Gusakov, Vinogradov, 1998). The catastrophic consequences for breeding on Lake. Hunk of birds may have the destruction of willow thickets by fires in the colony during dry weather (Glushchenko, 2005).

In Japan, the average egret was numerous in the past, but habitat pollution and bird disturbance in the colonies led to a significant reduction in numbers since the 1960s. (Martinez-Vilalta, Motis, 1992).

Economic value, protection

As a very rare type of economic value does not have. It is listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation (2001) and the Red Book of Primorsky Krai (2005). The location of the colony on Lake. Khanka is part of the protection zone of the Khankaisky state reserve. It is recommended to increase the area of ​​this reserve by including the territory of the specified colony in its composition.