Up to today there are 19 records of Great White
Egret Egretta alba in the Azores. These birds show all dark legs
and are supposed to be of the American race egretta (the European
alba do not have all dark (black or bluish-black) legs, and the
African melanorhynchos do not migrate). Correspondingly the American
Great Blue Heron also occur in the Azores - 23 birds so far known.
One of the Great Egrets in the autumn of 2005 was ringed,
and Rami Lindroos and Keijo Wahlroos managed to read the text on the red
color ring and most of the figures on the metallic ring. After some time
of searching, inquires and detective work Frédéric Jiguet
at last got contact with the ringers in southern Canada. It turned out
that the bird was banded as a flightless young on 27 June 2005 at Nottawasaga
Island, Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, near the south shore of Georgian
Bay, Lake Huron (NNW of Toronto).
This banded alba was number 8 in the Azores, and was
first seen at Mosteiros 2005-11-07 (Ricardo Guerreiro), then moved to
Vila Franca do Campo, and then to Lagoa das Furnas where it was last seen
2006-01-14. You will find more information about the occurence of Great
White Egrets in the Database.
This was not the first ring recovery in the Azores of
an Egret. Also the first Little Blue Egret Egretta caerulea for
the Azores was a ring recovery of a bird from the other side of the Atlantic.
This time a bird banded in New Jersey 1964-06-28, and recovered in Flores