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The Egret is a symbol of purity and strength

By Titus Kakembo

Added 25th March 2019 01:07 PM

Visually tame, these calm birds are common around swamps, grasslands and pastures. Especially places where cattle and wild game are available.

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Visually tame, these calm birds are common around swamps, grasslands and pastures. Especially places where cattle and wild game are available.

WILDLIFE

It has a short yellow bill and a pair of yellow eyes. This contrasts sharply with the ever white plumage. The males look just like the females.

Visually tame, these calm birds are common around swamps, grasslands and pastures. Especially places  where cattle and wild game are available.

“You will be surprised to learn that there are different types of cattle egrets,” says Habitat Uganda’s Archilles Byaruhanga who has authored books about different birds found in Uganda. “There is the Great White Egret which appears as huge as a Grey Heron.”

Adding that, this one comes all white, slender, long necked and walks with long black legs. Generally, in flight the head gets swallowed in the shoulders.

“On the other hand the Yellow Billed Egret comes in a smaller size and has thin black line extending from the gape to the eyes.”

At the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) where hundreds of those displaced when trees in Kampala city were cut down.

The project manager, Scovia Musimenta says during the breeding season the bill turns black.

“This bird is not social,” explains Musimenta. “Except when roosting or breeding. In Uganda they are found anywhere on the edges of rivers, swamps and lakes.”

The Little Egret on the other hand has a long neck and its bill is not short and neither are the legs. According to Dave Richards in his Birds of East Africa book, the breeding ones have long plumes on the head.

“Sexes look alike just as do adults and premature ones. They feed alone or in small groups around water bodies,” the literature partially reads. Among the Chinese community constructing Karuma Dam an egret is a symbol of purity, patience, long life and strength.

In Luganda the egret is called enyange.

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