Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret pair sitting in a nest.

What does it look like? Smallest of the Australian egrets, this bird should not be larger Intermediate Egret, which occasionally occupies similar habitat. Both species have a yellow bill (unlike the Little Egret, which has a predominantly black bill). The Cattle Egret walks with a very obvious back-and-forth head movement. For most of the year it has almost entirely white plumage but, during the breeding season (October to January), it is distinguished by long, dark plumes on the head, neck, breast and mantle.

What are its habitats and habits? It is commonly seen in small flocks, opportunistically feeding on grasshoppers and other insects, that are disturbed by grazing cattle.

Scientific name: Bubulcus coromandus

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