Active during the day, the intermediate egret forages in water less than eight centimetres deep for a variety of prey, including fish, frogs, crustaceans and aquatic insects (7). It tends to forage around and on vegetation more than some other egrets. However, it also uses the typical heron sit-and-wait strategy of standing patiently at the water’s edge and waiting for prey to come close enough for it to strike with its long bill (3). In drier habitats, the intermediate egret will also take terrestrial prey such as grasshoppers, crickets, bugs and beetles, snakes, spiders, lizards, and sometimes even birds. It typically forages alone, but at night it roosts communally in groups of 20 or more (7).
Timing of breeding varies regionally, but is usually centred around the wet season. During this time, the intermediate egret builds its nest amongst those of other herons and waterbirds, with colonies occasionally numbering as many as several thousand. The nest is a shallow stick platform and is positioned three to six metres above the ground in a tree standing over water or reedbeds (7). Two to six eggs are laid and incubated for 21 to 27 days (2).