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egret(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.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Herodiones, family Ardeidae.
EGRETAbbrev. 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.
REFERENCEPtitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and N. A. Gladkov. Moscow, 1951.
A. M. SUDILOVSKAIA