Ten Cool Facts about Cattle Egrets

Birdorable Cattle Egret
  1. The Cattle Egret has gone through one of the most rapid natural expansion of any bird. Originally native to Africa and Asia, it has expanded its range around the world. It reached the Americas in the late 19th century when it was first found in Guiana and Suriname in 1877, and Australia in the 1940s.[1]
  2. It arrived in the United States in 1941 and has since occurred all the way to Alaska and Newfoundland and has bred in nearly all fifty states. [2]
  3. Cattle Egret are opportunistic feeders and follow large animals or farm machines around to catch insects. It is estimated that they gather 50% more food using only two-thirds as much energy when feeding with livestock. [3]
  4. Cattle Egret are known to come in from far to catch insects fleeing from a fire. [4]
  5. The Cattle Egret sometimes adds birds to its diet. At Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, just off the coast of Florida, Cattle Egrets have been observed catching warblers because of a lack of insects on the island! [5]
  6. Cattle Egrets have been seen at airports waiting for airplanes to pass and blow insects out of the grass. [6]
  7. Its Arabic name Abu Gerdan (أبو قردان), means 'father of ticks', a name derived from the large number of parasites found in its breeding colonies. [7]
  8. Cattle Egrets greatly reduce the number of flies that bothers cattle by pecking them off their skin, as found by a study in Australia. [8]
  9. In 1959, the Hawaiian Board of Agriculture released 25 Cattle Egrets on Kaua'i to help control the flies and other insects plaguing cattle. [9]
  10. Its range is estimated globally at 10 million square kilometers with a global population of up to 6.7 million individuals. [10]


  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_egret
  2. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cattle_Egret/lifehistory
  3. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Bubulcus_ibis.html
  4. http://www.treknature.com/gallery/photo46938.htm
  5. http://research.myfwc.com/engine/download_redirec...
  6. http://www.enature.com/flashcard/show_flash_card.asp?recordNumber=BD0109
  7. http://www.oaklandzoo.org/animals/birds/cattle-egret/
  8. http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Cattle_Egret
  9. http://savekauai.org/community/island-history
  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_egret


Marlys Dyce on April 22, 2011 at 1:01 PM wrote:
We have four Cattle Egrets coming to our yard 3-4 times per day every day catching worms in our front yard. They are so fun to watch and they are so unique looking that many times traffic driving past our house (We live in the country) stop and watch them for awhile. This morning one Egret had a very long night crawler in his beak and the other 3 Egrets chased him to try to steal it! They didn't succeed before the catcher swallowed it. We live in SE South Dakota.
Spuriwng Plover on May 27, 2017 at 3:20 AM wrote:
Their aos called the White Starling becuase of how they have expanded their range across the U.S. but unlike starlings Cattle Egrets serve a useful purpose feeding on incests that would ruin pastures for the livestock
Spurwing Plover on April 24, 2018 at 6:33 AM wrote:
In the Disney cartoon series THE LION GUARD ONO is a Cattle Egret he serves as their look out because of his sharp vision
Grady Puryear on August 5, 2018 at 10:51 PM wrote:
Egrets first appeared on our place in Matagorda County Texas in the 1940's, this was following a bad Hurricane that people said blew them in to Florida from Africa and then on to Texas. I farmed in Calhoun County in Texas in the 1950's, we were covered up with Rattle Snakes till the Egrets moved in, They picked up and ate all the baby Rattlers they saw, and over time, really put a dent in them. They followed out combines (we farmed rice) and walked along behind and gorged themselves on insects going through the combines.
Opio Anthony on September 16, 2020 at 4:53 PM wrote:
Cattle egrets are adorable birds, when we were growing up as kids we used to ask a fleet of cattle egrets that would pass around the sky to change the color of our nails from brown to there beautiful color of white, interestingly we would notice a slight whitish color on the nails and be very happy. Egrets are Blessed, since then I want to know every little bit a bout cattle egrets.
Doug watkins on July 16, 2021 at 5:52 PM wrote:
These birds are a plague in Texas, they started robbing Honey bee hives two years ago eat thousands every day, positioned close to hives and clover fields. Easy prey
Spurwing Plover on November 28, 2021 at 8:22 AM wrote:
Cattle Egrets the most widespread Heron in the world
kate on November 30, 2021 at 5:55 PM wrote:
i love your weebsite keep it forever ok?
Spurwing Plover on May 25, 2022 at 6:17 AM wrote:
Many credit this Bird with cutting down on the numbers of Rattlesnakes by eating the young snakes thus helping to protect the Livestock

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