Reef Egrets

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Subject: Reef Egrets
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 17:48:30 +1100
Hi Birders,
Erica Moret asked a number of questions about Reef Egrets, particularly in relation to the dark and white morphs and their occurrence around Australia. Many of the answers that she is looking for can be found in HANZAB Volume 1 Ratities to Ducks pp1002-1009.
Generally speaking from NSW to the South-west of WA and in New Zealand the birds are virtually all grey morphs, indeed there is no location in NSW where white morphs can be regularly seen, and only 2 or 3 records of white birds in all. They nest singularly and they occur as scattered pairs feeding on rocky points and inshore reefs. Once you get up onto the North Queensland Coast and onto the Barrier Reefs, they occur in small flocks and nest communally and are mostly white. While they occur on the NSW Central Coast and can regularly be seen at Soldiers Point, Norah Head and the Toowoon Bay Reefs and Bateau Bay, you can never be sure that you will see them when you visit these locations. I have seen two nests in my life time on two NSW offshore islands, but at North Head Sydney Harbour, and Munmorah SRA I have seen adults with 2 dependent young each, in over 20 years of birdwatching!
Trying to locate a good place to film them may be difficult.
Alan Morris
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