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(ēgrĕt`), common name for several species of herons of the Old and New Worlds, belonging to the family Ardeidae. Before they were protected by law the birds were nearly exterminated by hunters seeking their beautiful, white, silky plumage called aigrettes, used in millinery. These feathers develop during the breeding season. In the American egret the plumes are straight, about 21 in. (52.5 cm) long, growing on the back. The smaller snowy egret, or snowy heron (Leucophoyx thula), the most beautiful and most hunted, has curved plumes on the back, head, and breast. The reddish egret (Dichromanassa rufa) is white part of the year, changing to grayish with brown head and neck. The greater and lesser egrets are European species. Egrets are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Herodiones, family Ardeidae.


Abbrev. for energetic gamma-ray experiment telescope. See Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.



a genus of birds of the order Ciconiiformes. There are nine species of egrets distributed widely in tropical and subtropical zones. In the USSR there are two nesting species, the great white heron (Egretta alba) and little egret (E. garzetta), and two casual species, the lesser egret (E. intermedia) and Swinhoe’s egret (E. eulophotes), which are found in Primor’e. The plumage is white; some species have elongated, decorative feathers (aigrettes). The birds nest in colonies, and the nests are built on bent reeds and rushes, in trees and bushes, and along the shores of bodies of water. There are three or four eggs in the clutch. The hatching takes 25–26 days. Egrets feed on small fish, insects, and small mammals. In the 19th and 20th centuries, because of the high value placed on egret plumes and the growth of the millinery industry, egrets were in danger of complete extinction. In the USSR they are protected by law.


Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and N. A. Gladkov. Moscow, 1951.



any of various wading birds of the genera Egretta, Hydranassa, etc., that are similar to herons but usually have a white plumage and, in the breeding season, long feathery plumes (see aigrette): family Ardeidae, order Ciconiiformes
References in periodicals archive ?
Pharmacokinetic parameters of ceftiofur equivalents after administration of 20 mg/kg IM ceftiofur crystalline-free acid in 18 cattle egrets.
That's exactly what the Saltholme cattle egret was doing, taking advantage of the movement of the dozens of cows which are based on the reserve.
Till now no inclusive studies have been carried to scan the eco biological studies of egrets in Pakistan.
Ray added: "I'm not sure if the egret expansion is down to climate change, but the climate is suitable for them.
5% (n = 59) of all constructed nests of Little Egrets in Ichkeul, Lebna dam and Chikli islet, respectively and 16.
Wilderness and the human world, instead, are not as dramatically separated in "White Egrets", where Walcott does not have to move from the settlement in which he finds himself in order to admire the birds: the egrets come to visit him on a "bright lawn" (6) in the Santa Cruz Valley, at the edge of Port of Spain.
The best model developed for Great Egrets contained only local variables that were present in both models (Table 10).
The raindrops and the water in the first three lines form a curtain of near-white transparency against which the white egret bobs up and down.
As it was almost impossible to detect and define the fate of young egrets after they fledged, we defined successful nests as those in which at least one chick fledged and/or survived for a minimum of 20 days; this is a measure commonly employed in heron nesting productivity studies (Fasola et al.
In the area under inquisition, the nesting colonies of Cattle Egrets were recorded to be exclusively monospecific with only Cattle Egrets nesting on the nesting tree.
Daniel Jenkins-Jones, head of public affairs at RSPB Cymru, said: "With the warmer climate there has certainly been an increase in numbers of little egret, Dartford warbler, and Cetti's warbler across the UK.