Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Pacific reef heron

Thai: นกยางทะเล, nok yaang tha-le

Binomial name: Egretta sacra, Johann Friedrich Gmelin, 1789

The Pacific reef heron (Egretta sacra), also known as the eastern reef heron or eastern reef egret, is a kind of heron. They are found in many areas of Asia including the oceanic region of India, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Polynesia, and in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.

Pacific reef herons are medium-sized herons, reaching 57 to 66 cm in length. They have a wingspan of between 90 and 110 cm 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 colour 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 coloured 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.

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Videos of Pacific reef heron

  • Pacific reef heron

    Pacific reef heron

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Pelecaniformes
Family
Ardeidae
Genus
Egretta
Species
Egretta sacra

Common names

  • Thai: นกยางทะเล, nok yaang tha-le

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Pacific reef heron, Egretta sacra in Thailand
  • Ao Phang-Nga National Park
  • Bang Phra Non-hunting Area
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Bang Saphan Noi District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Bangkok Province
  • Hat Chao Mai National Park
  • Hat Khanom - Mu Koh Thale Tai National Park
  • Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park
  • Hat Wanakon National Park
  • Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Khao Laem Ya National Park
  • Khao Lak - Lam Ru National Park
  • Khao Phra - Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khung Kraben Non-hunting Area
  • Khura Buri District, Phang Nga
  • Klaeng District, Rayong
  • Ko Chang District, Trat
  • Ko Libong
  • Ko Phayam
  • Ko Samui District, Surat Thani
  • Ko Sichang District, Chonburi
  • Ko Tao
  • La-ngu District, Satun
  • Laem Ngop District, Trat
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Laem Son National Park
  • Mu Ko Ang Thong National Park
  • Mu Ko Chang National Park
  • Mu Ko Chumphon National Park
  • Mu Ko Lanta National Park
  • Mu Ko Ranong National Park
  • Mu Ko Samet National Park
  • Mu Ko Similan National Park
  • Mu Ko Surin National Park
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Phang Nga District, Phang Nga
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Phuket District, Phuket
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Samut Songkhram District, Samut Songkhram
  • Mueang Satun District, Satun
  • Mueang Surat Thani District, Surat Thani
  • Pak Phanang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Pak Thale
  • Pathio District, Chumphon
  • Pran Buri Forest Park
  • Samae San Island
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • Sathing Phra District, Songkhla
  • Sattahip District, Chonburi
  • Sawi District, Chumphon
  • Si Racha District, Chonburi
  • Sirinat National Park
  • Takua Pa District, Phang Nga
  • Tarutao National Marine Park
  • Thalang District, Phuket
  • Than Sadet - Koh Pha-Ngan National Park
  • Thao Kosa Forest Park
  • Thung Tako District, Chumphon

Range map of Egretta sacra in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits and Parinya Pawangkhanant for their help with many range data.

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