by Georgina Spyres, Ph.D. & Konstantinos Lavrentakis , Environmental Educators
The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) is an elegant small white heron, that migrates annually from Europe to Africa and back, but some individuals have become true locals of Vravrona Wetland, staying all year round. The Vravrona Wetland is a coastal ecosystem, lovingly fed by the flow of the Erasinos River, rich with impressive biodiversity of plants, including the Tamarisk tree, and a multitude of wild birds and other animals. It is designated as NATURA 2000 and located only a stone throw’s away from the Athens center on the east coast. One only needs a pair of binoculars to explore its natural treasures.
The Little Egret has a beautiful long neck and dark bill. It is an avid fisherman eating fish, amphibians, and other small prey in shallow waters. Unlike other heron species, it is more comfortable with the human presence and can be viewed from a fairly close distance. With its white feathers, the yellow ring around its eyes, and yellow feet, the Little Egret is a delight for birdwatchers and, along with the neighboring UNESCO Heritage archeological site of the Temple of Artemis, it is one more great reason to visit Vravrona.