Cattle Egret

About the Cattle Egret

The Cattle Egret is a small, stocky heron known for its association with grazing animals. It has a mostly white plumage, a sturdy yellow bill, and yellowish legs. During the breeding season, adults develop orange-buff plumes on their heads, backs, and breasts, along with redder bills and legs, making them more striking.

Cattle Egrets are found in a wide range of habitats, including grasslands, farmlands, wetlands, and even urban areas. They have a worldwide distribution, originating in Africa but now present across Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. These adaptable birds thrive in open habitats where they often follow livestock and machinery to catch insects and other small creatures disturbed by these larger animals.

Their diet consists mainly of insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, and flies, as well as other small invertebrates. Cattle Egrets are opportunistic feeders, often seen foraging on the ground near grazing animals, taking advantage of the disturbed prey.

Cattle Egrets are also known to nest in colonies, sometimes alongside other heron species. They build their nests in trees, bushes, or reed beds using sticks and plant materials. Both parents share in building the nest, incubating the eggs, and feeding the young.

Although the Cattle Egret was once limited to Africa, it has expanded its range dramatically over the past century. This expansion is attributed to its adaptability and its close relationship with human agricultural activities.

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Ten Cool Facts about Cattle Egrets

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...  Read more »

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