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Egretta thula is a medium-sized heron with a delicate build. Adult egrets generally measure between 56 to 66 cm and have a wingspan of approximately 100 cm. Egrets average 370 g in weight and the males tend to be slightly larger than the females. Egretta thula has entirely white plumage, a long, slender black bill, and long, slender black legs with bright yellow feet. Eyes are yellow. Breeding adults develop long, delicate plumes off their breast and are also characterized by their change in foot color, from yellow to orange. There are no overall differences in appearance between breeding populations, however, populations studied in North America and Central America are found to have a larger bill than egrets of South America.
La garcilla blanca es una ave de porte mediana. Los adultos miden generalmente entre 56 y 66 cm y 100 cm de ala alzada. Poseen un promedio de 370 g de peso y los machos tienden a ser levemente más pesados que las hembras. Su plumaje es netamente blanco con pico negro y delgado, patas negras y extremidades amarillas. Los adultos sexualmente maduros desarrollan plumas que sobresalen del pecho y se caracterizan por presentar patas de un tono anaranjado. No existen diferencias en apariencia entre las poblaciones de estas garcillas del hemisferio sur con las del hemisferio norte. No obstante, aquellas que fueron estudiadas en norte y centroamérica presentaron un pico más prolongado que sus pares de sudamérica.

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