Medium-sized wader (about 65 cm or 25.5 in), very stylized and similar to the Little Egret in size. Two patterns of plumage colouring, one white and one dark, the latter being the most common. Usually shades of intense slate colour in adults, except for the throat, which is white. Dark-yellowish bill, black legs with tarsi of variable yellow tone and always yellow toes.
Where it lives
Species with a widespread tropical distribution in Africa and Asia. It preferentially inhabits coastal wetlands, estuaries, river mouths, beaches, reefs and mangroves.
How it lives
Bird considered a rarity in the province. Breeding generally in colonies, sometimes in the company of other species of egrets, building nests on shrubs or small trees. The normal layings consist of 2 to 3 eggs. The Dimorphic Egret is not a migrating bird but can get to perform dispersions. It feeds mainly on fish, crustaceans and molluscs.
Where it can be seen in Malaga
Rare and little frequent species in Malaga. The observations of this bird in the province have occurred in inland locations, such as in the middle course of the Guadalhorce or Grande rivers. Even the reproduction of an individual in the colony of herons in Los Prados has been recorded.
For some time it was thought that the observations could have been due to individuals escaped from captivity or to supposed melanic specimens of Little Egret. Today its presence is considered proven in countries of southwestern Europe, particularly in France, Italy and Spain.