Great White Egrets breed at Holkham Nature Reserve

The birds bred in Holkham Nature Reserve. Photo: Holkham National Nature Reserve

The birds bred in Holkham Nature Reserve. Photo: Holkham National Nature Reserve - Credit: Archant

Holkham Nature Reserve has welcomed another rare bird to its list of species, after three young Great white Egrets hatched at the reserve this year.

The birds bred in Holkham Nature Reserve. Photo: Holkham National Nature Reserve

The birds bred in Holkham Nature Reserve. Photo: Holkham National Nature Reserve - Credit: Archant

Throughout the 19th century, these birds were killed across Europe for their ornate feathers, used in the hat trade, and for much of the 20th century the species was under threat, and restricted to wetland areas in Eastern Europe.

However, since the 1990s, the birds began to make a comeback, and nested for the first time in the UK in Somerset, in 2012.

The breeding of the birds in Norfolk this year marks the first successful attempt in the county.

Holkham Nature Reserve's mix of freshwater grazing marsh, and extensive network of pools, and wet woodlands, provides an ideal habitat for these fish-eating birds.


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2017 is Holkham's 50th year of being designated a National Nature Reserve. It spans the coast from Burnham Norton to Blakeney.

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