The Eastern Reef Egret, Egretta sacra also known as Pacific Reef Egret
is a type of egret (a subclass of herons). They are found in many areas
of Asia including the oceanic region of India, Southeast Asia, Japan,
Polynesia, and in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.
Eastern Reef Egrets are a medium-sized egret, reaching 57 to 66
centimeters in length. They have a wingspan of between 90 and 110
centimeters and reach an average weight of 400 grams.
The species displays an unusual, non-sexual dimorphism, with some
members having entirely white plumage and others (the larger portion)
being charcoal-grey. The reason for the color variation or "morph," is
unknown, though it is most commonly thought to be related to camouflage.
Eastern Reef Egrets have very short, yellow legs, and the grey
variety's throats and chins are marked by a narrow, white stripe. They
have brown beaks, gold-yellow colored eyes and the surrounding areas of
their faces are normally of a greenish to yellow cast.
Their food sources are made up predominantly of varieties of
ocean-based fish, crustaceans and molluscs.
The species lay clutches of eggs year round in colonies in the
jungle, between palms and mangroves or in cavities of old buildings. Two
to three paled greenish-blue eggs are laid in nests constructed from
branches and blossoms. Males and females share brooding tasks. They
normally have a 28-day brood period. After chicks are hatched, parents
provide approximately 5 weeks of support.