(2223) Egretta alba modesta.
The Eastern Large Egret.
Ardea modesta Gray, Zool. Misc., p. 19 (1831) (India). Herodias alba. Blanf. & Oates, iv, p. 385 (part.).
Vernacular names. The same as for the preceding race. Bor bog (Assam).
Description. Only differs from the typical form in being much smaller.
Colours of soft parts the same as in the European bird.
Measurements. Wing 354 to 391 mm.; culmen 104 to 116 mm. and much more slender than in E. a. alba.
Distribution. All India, Ceylon, Burma and East through the Malay Archipelago to Australia.
Nidification. This beautiful Egret breeds from November to March in Ceylon and Southern India and from July to September in Northern India, though when there are early rains a few birds begin to breed during the end of May in Assam. They breed in small colonies with other Herons and Cormorants etc., sometimes having their nests in little clusters together but more often dotting them about here and there among the other breeding birds. The nests are rough platforms of sticks, sometimes lined with rushes, sometimes not, whilst the eggs number three or four and only differ from those of the European Large Egret in being smaller. Forty eggs average 54.0 x 38.6 mm.: maxima 60.5 x 39.3 and 58.1 x 40.6 mm.; minima 48.5 x 37.2 and 55.0 x 36.8 mm.
Habits. The Large Egret is less common than the smaller species and more solitary in its habits, otherwise it differs but little from the other species of the genus.