The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

It is a white bird adorned with buff plumes in the breeding season. It nests in colonies, usually near bodies of water and often with other wading birds. The nest is a platform of sticks in trees or shrubs. Their feeding habitats include seasonally inundated grasslands, pastures, farmlands, wetlands and rice paddies. They often accompany cattle or other large mammals, catching insect and small vertebrate prey disturbed by these animals.

The Cattle Egret is a stocky heron with a 88–96 cm (35–38 in) wingspan; it is 46–56 centimetres (18–22 in) long and weighs 270–512 grams (9.5–18.1 oz.). It has a relatively short thick neck, sturdy bill, and a hunched posture. The non-breeding adult has mainly white plumage, a yellow bill and greyish-yellow legs. During the breeding season, adults of the nominate western subspecies develop orange-buff plumes on the back, breast and crown, and the bill, legs and irises become bright red for a brief period prior to pairing. The sexes are similar, but the male is marginally larger and has slightly longer breeding plumes than the female; juvenile birds lack coloured plumes and have a black bill.

A nest with eggs….                                                       and then the first born…….

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28 thoughts on “The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

  1. such wonderful shots, all!!! I particularly love the ones numbered 00181 and 0015.
    another thing I’ve been meaning to say: thank you for including inch measurements along with the centimeters! I always have a helluva time doing that conversion in my head!

    • It is a pleasure… even though when I started my Land Surveyor career we were still using an imperial system.. when we went metric I forgot about the feet and inches.. and now today I have to do a calc to convert the inches over to picture the sizes when they are blogged in imperial…

  2. You live in South Africa?? I don’t know why, but for some reason, I thought you lived in the US. Obviously, I’m not paying enough attention to details LOL!! Anyway, these are beautiful photos, but the last one is absolutely amazing! I love how the sunlight highlights the wings :).

    • Thank you for the comment.. don’t feel bad half of those I follow, I have no idea where they live and have slowly made notes for myself when they let fly with a tip.. One I blogger I follow, I was convinced came from the USA and spent all their time travelling around that country… what a surprise for me when I found out they live here.. who knew… the fact you follow and comment on my posts is all that matters to me..

    • I am lucky to be able to travel the areas where the animals and birds are a plenty… these happened to be on a golf course I frequent often so got to capture the seasons growth.. there were approx 100 breeding pairs, so deciding which to photo difficult…

  3. Wow. What a beautiful creature….so lovely and adorable when young. Where do you live that you manage to capture all these photos…have I read and forgotten….I’ve said it before, but you sure do capture the animal’s soul. Really love looking at the beauty you bring to your blog. Thank you. And thank you for your continued support on my blog. Thanks for brining the birds to me. 🙂

  4. So wonderful to see these birds up close… It almost looks like he’s sporting a mohawk hairstyle! 🙂 Artistically you have captured such vibrant contrast between the grasses and the Cattle Egrets! ~ just fabulous work bulldog — at this point I expect no less from you though 🙂 Robyn

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