The Little Egret is the smallest and most common egret in Indonesia
eat a wide variety of prey from fish, molluscs and worms to insects and
even small mammals and birds.
Little Egrets are the liveliest hunters among herons and egrets, with
a wide variety of techniques. They may patiently stalk prey in shallow
waters. Or stand on one leg and stir the mud with the other to scare up
prey. Or better yet, stand on one leg and wave the other bright yellow
foot over the water surface to lure aquatic prey into range. In
peninsular Malaysia, some have been observed hunting near floating
vegetation (like palm fronds), possibly looking for prey attracted to
the shade. They may crouch with their wings slightly outstretched,
either to reduce the sun's glare or perhaps to create shade to attract
underwater prey. They may also enthusiastically rush around in shallow
waters perhaps to flush out prey. Little Egrets usually hunt alone.
Where they hunt in a group, they are well spaced out, each individual
defending a feeding spot. However, they roost communally, often with
other herons and egrets, usually in mangroves. They also roost in
reedbeds or snags over open water.
Breeding: Little Egrets breed in the warm-temperate areas of the Old
World, as well as tropical areas like Java, Bali and Kalimantan. They
build rough nests out of sticks. A wide variety of nesting sites are
used, from trees and bushes to rocks, walls and even on the ground. Up
to 5 greenish-blue eggs are laid.
Migration: Little Egrets spend winter in Southeast Asia, migrating in
large dispersal flocks, arriving mainly in September-October. Their
preferred wintering grounds are mangroves where there are mudflats
suited to their hunting style and providing preferred roosting sites.
Some may stay in their wintering grounds over the summer.
Status and threats: Like other egrets with beautiful breeding plumes,
Little Egrets were threatened by hunting for their feathers .Now, they
are more threatened by habitat destruction and pollution. The overuse of
pesticides has made them scarce in rice fields.