Large wader (about 100 cm or 39.5 in) with an also large wingspan (about 170 cm or 5.5 ft), very stylized and with a very long neck. Homogeneous white plumage, with long and frayed feathers on the back. Dark bill with a yellowish base. The legs are orange yellow (differentiating feature) and it has a green eye ring. In flight, a large white bird with its neck retracted and its legs protruding from its tail can be seen.
European species linked to large coastal or continental wetlands.
Wintering bird in the province and also present in migratory passage. This wader breeds creating large nests among the marsh vegetation. Laying of 2 to 6 eggs. It feeds mainly on fish, although it also consumes aquatic insects and small terrestrial vertebrates.
Species still rare in Malaga but which is increasingly common to watch, given that its European population is expanding. It can be observed in the fertile plain and mouth of the Guadalhorce and Grande rivers and in the Guadalteba reservoirs. It has also been watched in wetlands of the Estepona area.
The Great Egret is more related to herons (Ardea) than to egrets (Egretta), as recent genetic analyses have shown. For this reason, it is also known as Large White Heron. Its silhouette is represented in coins and banknotes of Brazil, Belarus and New Zealand. It is also the symbol of the prestigious US National Audobon Society, one of the oldest conservation societies in the world.