Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cattle egret

The bird that has attracted my interest this week is the Cattle egret (Ardea ibis on the Australian fauna list, Bubulcus ibis everywhere else!). The interest arose after a highway sighting of a good sized group near Grantville in southern Victoria. I had seen them in the same spot two weeks earlier so was braced to slow from 100kmh, make use of a couple of U-turn lanes to get back to the spot for some roadside photos.

Cattle egret - today's pictures have them at the treacherous end of the cows!
From a Victorian's perspective Cattle egret are a little novel. Their presence is somewhat seasonal appearing mostly in winter and not in the numbers seen up north. They are a relatively recent arrival in Australia (about 1950 I think I have read) and as many would be aware the global range of this species has increased dramatically over the last 100 years.

I am yet to witness breeding plumage in Victoria but I have seen others' photos of birds in Victoria with much colour.

I counted around 90 birds in this paddock which is far more than I have seen before.

Sharing with Wild Bird Wednesday

Bird on!


  1. Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  2. It must've been exciting to find such a large flock of these birds. Lovely photos.

  3. Brown/grey cattle, green grass, and white Cattle Egret - nothing could make a better photo!

  4. Great post, Pete!!
    We see a lot of Cattle Egrets up here. In fact, I have seen most with a lot of colour and very few without colour. I've only seen flocks that huge when we venture out into some of my favourite rural areas.
    Thanks for your visit to my blog. See you on IG! :)

  5. They are gorgeously white, dotting the fields! Thanks for posting!

  6. Lovely shots! They do seem to like living dangerously.