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the web of life in southern Africa

Egretta gularis (Western reef heron) 

Westelike kusreier [Afrikaans]; Westelijke rifreiger [Dutch]; Aigrette à gorge blanche [French]; Küstenreiher [German]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Ciconiiformes> Family: Ardeidae

Egretta gularis (Western reef heron)   

Western reef heron, The Gambia. [photo Per-Anders Olsson ©]


Distribution and habitat

Occurs along the coast of West and East Africa, from Senegal to Gabon and from Sudan and Somalia to north-eastern Mozambique. It is a rare vagrant to southern Africa, as an individual was once reported in Buffels Bay and Olifantsbos, Western Cape, staying for several months starting from April 2002. It generally prefers rocky and sandy beaches, reefs, salt-marshes, estuaries, lagoons, mudflats, tidal creeks and mangroves.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.