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Cattle Egret - 2015

Published November 07, 2015
Tags: General Observations, Cattle Egret

Each fall, I hope to see a Cattle Egret and today happened to be this year's opportunity.  Dave Tetlow found this year's bird in York, New York on a farm, which is often the case. The bird wasn't reported until late in the day and fortunately, it stayed until at least the next day.  Many other birders got the chance to see it in addition to myself.

This small heron hails from Africa, just coming to the US in the 1950's. Rather than eating fish and frogs as most herons do, this guy likes to eat insects that are kicked up by horses or cattle (from where it derives its name). It will even ride the backs of cows and eat the ticks off their backs! Symbiosis at its best!
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Cattle Egret
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Cattle Egret
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Cattle Egret
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Cattle Egret next to a horse - a good size comparison!