Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis

Order

CICONIIFORMES

Family

Bitterns, Herons and Egrets (Ardeidae)

Code 4

CAEG

Code 6

BUBIBI

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Cattle Egret is present in most portions of the world, with the exception of Bulgaria, where it is thought to be extinct. This bird has also been introduced to Jamaica and the British Indian Ocean Territory. The range of the Cattle Egret is around 10 million square kilometers. The population is estimated to be around 7 million individual birds. In 2000, the Cattle Egret was rated as Lower Risk. Currently, the Cattle Egret is rated as Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Cattle Egret: Small, stocky egret with a white body and pale orange-brown patches on the head, neck and back. The eyes, bill and legs are orange. This is the only white egret with both a yellow bill and yellow legs. It feeds primarily on insects. It has a direct flight on quick steady wing beats. The sexes are similar.

 

Range and Habitat

Cattle Egret: Found in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. This bird has not always been found across all these regions; it is believed to have originated in central Africa and then spread to many other parts of the world during the 19th century. Found in open, grassy areas, such as pastures, meadows, marshes, flood plains and swamps.

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Cattle Egret SONGS AND CALLS

Cattle Egret S1

Calls from a breeding colony.

Cattle Egret C1

"Raah" calls given in flight.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"Rick-rack"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • It has been estimated that Cattle Egrets are able to gather 50% more food and use only two-thirds as much energy when they feed in association with livestock as opposed to feeding alone.
  • The Cattle Egret did not exist outside of Africa until the late 19th century. They likely flew from Africa to South America and since have extended their range through Florida and then further north and west.
  • They have been observed along side the runways of airports waiting for airplanes to pass and blow insects out of the grass. They also follow farm equipment to catch insects that are disturbed.
  • A group of cattle egrets are collectively known as a "stampede" of egrets.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

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