noun \ˈē-grət, -ˌgret also i-ˈgret, ˈeg-rət\

: a large, long-legged bird that has a long neck and bill and usually white feathers

Full Definition of EGRET

:  any of various herons that bear long plumes during the breeding season

Illustration of EGRET

Origin of EGRET

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Old Occitan *aigreta, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German heigaro heron
First Known Use: 14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Common egret (Egretta alba)—R.F. Head from The National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers

Any of several species (mainly in the genus Egretta) of wading birds in the same family (Ardeidae) as herons and bitterns. Egrets live in marshes, lakes, humid forests, and other wetland environments worldwide. They catch and eat small fishes, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and crustaceans. They nest in trees and bushes or on the ground. Most are white and develop long plumes for the breeding season. The value of plumes as ornamental objects once drove egrets to near-extinction, but changes in fashion and strict conservation measures have allowed their numbers to increase. The great white egret is about 35 in. (90 cm) long; other common species average 20–24 in. (50–60 cm) long.


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