Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cattle Egret

I took this picture of the calf with the egrets in the nursery of the Forest Deparment near my home. At first , the birds would fly away as soon as I focussed my camera. After standingstill for a long time, I convinced the egrets that I meant them no harm.
The Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis is a small white heron which follows cattle and eats the insects disturbed by them. Their name Bubulcus in Latin means 'herdsman', which is quite apt. The bird removes ticks and flies from cattle. It is a usual sight in Indian countryside to see these birds riding on buffaloes. The egret has been introduced into many countries as it is an effective biocontrol of many parasites of cattle.
There is a downside too to this bird, as it spreads diseases among cattle.


  1. I'm so happy to see such a familiar sight, even though I'm on the other side of the world lol. The first time I saw an egret, was when I first moved to the Southern US. And it was standing on a cow's back, I looked at my husband and was laughing so hard. He just looked at me like I was crazy, because it was normal lol. Great post!

  2. We just visited Belize and it seemed every cow has its own Cattle Egret. Enjoyed my vist here too!

  3. I remember seeing them with our herd of Hereford cattle on our grazing property. It was always a lovely sight the white birds and the red cattle. They also do a very good job!

  4. Great knowing about the meaning of the name. So apt! Now that the marshy area is not as luxuriant (as in summer) we see many egrets foraging there.

  5. Kyna, it is more funny to see the egrets riding on buffaloes!
    Randy, welcome to my blog and thanks for your visit.
    Titania, yes, it is a lovely sight to see the birds with the cattle.
    Kanak,you must be getting plenty of birds there.

  6. I've seen pictures of birds riding buffalo and cows before. Sounds like they try to help each other out, although it's too bad the egrets spread disease.

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