Cattle Egret

Images ©:
Bob Winters | Bob Winters

Ardea ibis


Medium-sized bird, up to 53 cm. During the breeding season, has an orange crown, neck and breast, with similar tinted long loose neck plumes. Long sharp, slightly down-curved bill is yellow to pinkish yellow, but becomes bright red during breeding season. Legs are normally grey-green out of breeding season, turning bright red or orange-brown during breeding.


Details
Type
Bird
Group
Animals
Egret
Other Common Names
Buff-backed Heron
Biology

Breeding season: October to March. Pairs are monogamous for the breeding season, and they breed in colonies, usually with other waterbirds. Nest is a shallow platform positioned in trees and bushes, usually as high up as possible. Both parents build the nest and incubate the eggs, with one brood per season being raised.

Distinctive Markings

Snowy white in colour.

Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Ciconiiformes
Family
Ardeidae

The Cattle Egret sits on the backs of cattle looking out for insects to eat.


Interesting Facts
Diet

Carnivore. Feeds on grasshoppers, especially during the breeding season, but eats many other invertebrates, such as frogs, cane toads, lizards and some small mammals.

Habitat

Found in grasslands, woodlands and wetlands, and not common in arid areas.

Native Status
Introduced
Audio
Sounds
Usually silent, but will make croaking noises in breeding colonies.