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5

Cattle Egret

(Bubulcus ibis)
German name(s): "Kuhreiher"
Size: 48-53 cm; wing span 88-96 cm
Weight: 270-510 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Cattle Egret at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "ibis"

ADULT

Sex unknown

BREEDING

Cattle Egrets, partly in breeding plumage, together with a single Little Egret (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Montargil Dame, near Mora, Evora, Portugal, August 2015]

Two pairs(?) of Cattle Egrets in emerging breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, February 2016]

NON-BREEDING

Near-frontal view of a Cattle Egret in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[November 2017]

Near-frontal view of a Cattle Egret in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[November 2017]

Lateral view of a Cattle Egret in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[November 2017]

Lateral view of a Cattle Egret in non-breeding plumage, here with its neck kinked (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)

Lateral view of a Cattle Egret in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[November 2017]

Near-dorsal view of a Cattle Egret in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[November 2017]

Distant view of a flock of Cattle Egrets (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, November 2013]

Near-lateral view of a Cattle Egret taking off (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, August 2014]

Lateral view of a Cattle Egret in non-breeding plumage in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, September 2018]

Near-lateral/ventral view of Cattle Egrets in non-breeding plumage in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, January 2018]

Near-dorsal/ventral view of a Cattle Egret in non-breeding plumage in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, December 2017]

Race "coromandus"

Race "coromandus" is described in detail on our Australian page.

Breeding information

Breeding season: Apr - Oct Eggs: 3 - 6 Incubation period: 25 days Fledging age: 42 days

Nest building: ? Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

Type: Basket Material: Sticks, lined with leaves Height above ground: 3 - 15 m

Cattle Egrets nesting in a colonial nesting tree together with Grey Herons (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, March 2014]

Cattle Egrets nesting in a colonial nesting tree (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2013]

Near-lateral view of a Cattle Egret in breeding plumage in flight, carrying a stick for its nest (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2014]

Eggs

Size: 45 x 34 mm Colour: Light blue Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Migratory Elementary unit: Flock

As their name already suggests, Cattle Egrets follow cattle in order to pick off animals that are disturbed in tall grass.

This Cattle Egret clearly does not know what it is supposed to do... (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, March 2014]

Cattle Egret taking big prey which looks like a toad (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, January 2014]

Cattle Egret taking small prey (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Mora, Evora, Portugal, February 2014]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

categrt_20171124_3.m4a coromanda
(NW NSW)
Warning calls © MD
categrt_20171124_5.m4a coromanda
(NW NSW)
Squabbling © MD
categrt_20171124.m4a coromanda
(NW NSW)
Squabbling © MD
categrt_20171124_2.m4a coromanda
(NW NSW)
Various (breeding colony) © MD
categrt_20171124_6.m4a coromanda
(NW NSW)
? © MD
categrt_20171124_7.m4a coromanda
(NW NSW)
? © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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