Bubulcus ibis Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
Cattle egrets are native to Africa and Asia and first reached the USA in 1941. Since then they have become one of the most abundant herons in North America.
This is the most terrestrial heron, more often seen along roadsides and in agricultural fields. In Africa it feeds alongside zebra, buffalo, and rhino and in the US it is known for its association with cattle.
Cattle egrets are gregarious birds, and you often see groups of these small, active herons following livestock and farm machinery. They feed on grasshoppers, flies, and other insects flushed by the disturbance.
Cattle egrets nest with other wading birds in large colonies. They lay 3-4 eggs, which are incubated for about 24 days.
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