The diets of the Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia, Little Egret E. garzetta, and Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis were examined by analyzing nestling regurgitations collected during the breeding season in 2005 at a colony in Asan, South Korea. Intermediate Egret nestlings mainly fed on insects (86.7% of total prey items), but fish were the most important group by biomass (64.3% of total biomass). Little Egret nestlings fed mainly on insects and fishes (43.4% and 33.2% of total items, respectively), and fish contributed 64.2% to the total biomass consumed. Cattle Egret chicks were mainly fed invertebrate prey (96.5% of total items), such as insects and spiders, which comprised just 64.3% of the total biomass of their diet. Loaches and aquatic insect larvae (mainly Odonata and Coleoptera) comprised a large proportion of the nestling diet of the three egret species. This suggests that all species forage primarily in rice fields, which represented the most extensive habitat surrounding the breeding colony.
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Vol. 15 • No. 1