Great White Egrets in England

Great White Egrets in England

Abstract

Following a rapid range expansion into western Europe and a steep increase in the number of birds wintering in Britain, Great White Egrets bred for the first time in Britain, at the Avalon Marshes, Somerset, in 2012. By 2021, following ten years of targeted conservation action, there were 37 nesting attempts at ten separate locations, with 25 nests producing 50 fledged young. From 2017, Great White Egrets began to breed in other counties, and there are now established populations at Holkham, Norfolk, and at Burton Mere Wetlands, Cheshire & Wirral. By 2021, the British breeding population was estimated to be 50 breeding pairs, with 73 young fledged that year. This success has been driven by a proactive approach to their conservation, creating large dynamic wetlands and responding to the arrival of pioneer pairs with a programme of monitoring, protection and responsive wetland management.

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