Cattle Egret

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A few weeks ago, a small flock of Cattle Egrets sporting their breeding colors were flying in to our community late afternoons to hunt everyone’s freshly manicured lawns for insects.

For over a week, I tried so many times to get out the door when I saw them come our way, but they were startled easily and would take flight before I could get lined up for a shot.

Finally, I got lucky with one worthy shot.  😏

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Cattle Egrets

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You can see the first one sees me, so, of course, they then took flight!  😅

Cool fact:  Cattle Egrets are native to Africa but somehow reached northeastern South America in 1877.  They continued to spread, arriving in the United States in 1941 and nesting there by 1953.  Since then, Cattle Egrets have become one of the most abundant of the North American herons, showing up as far north as Alaska and Newfoundland.

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30 thoughts on “Cattle Egret

    • Thank you, Ellen! I actually didn’t know about this birds ‘recent’ introduction to the U.S. They seem to be all over up our way around the farm lands, they love those cows!

      • Me neither. We see them around here, in the few undeveloped fields that still house a few cows. It always makes me smile to see the birds out there following along. Once a great while I’ve seen one with the other wading birds, at the swamp or around a pond.

  1. Interesting birds — they’ve been showing up all over Connecticut recently, going by all the pictures being posted in my Connecticut Birds Facebook group. I hope I get to see one! Thanks for sharing.

  2. How interesting, that you and I are both seeing flocks of cattle egrets in our nearby yards. They are quite lovely in their breeding colors. I haven’t quite figured out where all these breeding-ready egrets are nesting, as they all seem to be busily flocking and flying around.

    • It seems to be a robust Spring with them, I wonder if they’re on migration still, they’re now found in Canada. They are gorgeous in breeding colors, with these brightening up, they must be nesting somewhere. Probably near cow farms! 😅

  3. Great shot (well-earned), Donna. 🙂 Interesting to learn about the migration of cattle egrets. Wonder how they got to South America from South Africa?

    • Thank you, Eliza! I actually learned of their ‘recent’ introduction when I searched for a cool ‘fact’ to share, I had never known it before. It’s a question I don’t think they’ve figured out exactly. And now they’re in Canada too!

  4. Lovely capture of these birds Donna, they are one of my wife’s favorites she loves seeing them donning their breeding plumage, riding on the backs of cattle when we holiday in the farming areas. They look lovely when flying against a blue sky also. You are right, they take off when you try to approach them.

    • Thank you, Ashley! Around us, we mostly see them around farms. I’ve photographed Cattle Egret sitting on cows myself, picking off the insects, it seems so funny to see that. 🙂

  5. I saw the Cattle Egrets only once. They were with cattle and it was fun to watch them. Donna, these three beauties on your photo are so special!

    • Thank you, Kaya! Have you seen them on the back of a cow? I have, lol. The egrets pick the insects off the cow’s back, and the cows must know this because they don’t mind! 🙂

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