The New World Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) and Old World Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) are ecologically similar and historically allopatric species both of which recently colonized Barbados, West Indies, as breeding species. Examination of their foraging behavior in their zone of recent sympatry suggests that they choose the same (very limited) foraging sites but differ in foraging behavior. The larger Little Egret was more active and diverse in its foraging, fed more in upright posture, chose open, unvegetated sites more frequently, and was dominant over the Snowy Egret. The conservation situation in Barbados for these two species, and their thus-far unique sympatry, is uncertain as both feeding and nesting sites are far from secure.
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Vol. 30 • No. 4