One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A heron with mainly white plumage, having long plumes in the breeding season.
Genus Egretta (and Bubulcus), family Ardeidae: several species
- ‘The result is the area has become a wildlife sanctuary with otters returning, and residents including white egrets, herons, kestrels and dozens of wild flowers.’
- ‘We paddled right under the canopy of trees overhanging the banks and got close encounters with egrets, herons, storks and some brilliant kingfishers.’
- ‘I look for egrets or herons - they are often standing knee deep in the water - but they've gone south by now.’
- ‘The island also attracts a variety of wading birds such as herons and egrets and many songbirds.’
- ‘Despite the setting, we didn't see any waterfowl or shorebirds - no herons or egrets, no ducks or geese.’
Middle English: from Old French aigrette, from Provençal aigreta, from the Germanic base of heron.
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