Cattle Egret (Palau)

Bubulcus ibis coromandus




Bitterns, Herons and Egrets (Ardeidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale blue or light blue green.

Number of Eggs:

1 - 9

Incubation Days:

22 - 28

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In trees or shrubs.

Nest Material:

Sticks and reeds.





Cattle Egret (Palau): Small, stocky egret with a white body and pale orange-brown patches on the head, neck and back. The eyes, bill and legs are red-orange during the height of breeding season and fade to yellow-green afterwards. This is the only white egret with both a yellow bill and yellow legs. Non-breeding adults have dark green-black legs. It feeds primarily on insects. It has a direct flight on quick steady wing beats. The sexes are similar.

Breeding and Nesting

Cattle Egret (Palau): They are colonial nesters, nesting with other egrets and herons in trees. Both of the adults build the nest out of sticks and vegetation, unless they are reusing an old nest. One to nine pale blue or blue green eggs are laid in the nest. Eggs are incubated for approximately 24 days by both parents. The chicks hatch in three to four weeks, and fledge when they are a month old.

Foraging and Feeding

Cattle Egret (Palau): Their broad diet varies greatly by habitat and season. They mostly eat grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, flies, frogs and noctuid moths. Food items consumed in especially large numbers are wolf or ground spiders and frogs. Fish are taken in shallow water during the dry season. They generally forage in close association with grazing cattle, feeding on insects disturbed by grazing.


Cattle Egret (Palau): Generally silent, but emits a simple, husky "rick-rack" on breeding grounds. May also produce "ruk, rok" when in courtship.

Similar Species

Cattle Egret (Palau): Little Egret has black legs and yellow feet, and a dark gray or black bill. Intermediate Egret has black legs and feet. Great Egret is much larger.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X