Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Photo: © 2006 Jeffrey Berger

Originally a native of Africa, the cattle egret colonized the New World sometime during the last century. Cattle egrets earn their name by feeding on grassland insects that have been disturbed by grazing animals.

In other parts of the world, they are known as “buffalo egrets” or “rhinoceros egrets” depending upon what kind of grazing ungulate they choose to follow. In Florida, they tag behind farm machinery in pursuit of grubs and insects. How about calling them “Tractor Egrets” instead of “Cattle Egrets?” Although non-native, this bird is considered beneficial by keeping insect populations in check.

During the mating season, plumage will change from bright white to buff-orange around the head, nape and back. Brett & Lucette represent a nuptial pair.


EcoPhotos said...

Thanks, Treasa, for being my friend. This one is for you.

treasa said...

What a lovely couple....

And thank you Jeff. I continue to marvel at the photos and descriptive text that endear the animals to me even more.