Heron Garde Boeuf dans le parc animalier Le PAL

Cattle egret

Scientific name :
Bubulcus ibis
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The cattle egret is a wader that has breeding plumage and winter plumage. During the breeding period, it displays orange-buff feathers on its head, back and breast. It has a yellow bill and reddish legs. Between these two periods, the male moults its plumage completely in the autumn.


Geographic distribution of the cattle egret

Cattle egrets are found in America, Africa, Europe and South Asia.


Habits of the cattle egret

Sociable in nature, this heron species nests in trees and shrubs in colonies of between 10 and several thousand individuals near lakes and ponds. The female is the architect when it comes to building the nest, while the male is responsible for collecting the necessary materials. When either partner returns to the nest, they raise the feathers along their back and flatten those on their head in ceremony. The male and female take turns brooding. Their offspring are altricial and are unable to fly until 30 days old, although after 14 to 21 days they are able to climb into the neighbouring branches around the nest. Cattle egrets often look for food in groups around herds of cattle, from which they remove bothersome insects, thus giving them their name.

Did you know?

Cattle egrets fly in groups in unstructured formations, in contrast to other waders, known for their strict alignment.
Wetlands, steppes and grassland.
Size: 48 to 53 cm
Wingspan: 90 to 96 cm
Weight: 300 to 400 g.
Insects and small vertebrates.
Longevity: 15 years
Lays: 4 to 5 eggs
Brooding: 22 to 26 days
Weaning: 30 days

Conservation status

Stable Threatened Critically endangered

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