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Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis

Range

  • North America and migrate to Mexico, Central America, and the Greater Antilles.

Habitat

  • Grasslands

Diet

  • Grasshoppers
  • Crickets
  • Flies
  • Moths
  • Spiders
  • Frogs
  • Lizards
  • Earthworms

Cattle egrets were known only from the Old World until 1877 when some were seen in South America.

They arrived in the US, in Florida, in 1941. They were first found in Oklahoma in 1962, the same year they reached California. They associate with and are often perched on cattle and other large mammals, who disturb the insects the egrets eat. Drawn to smoke from large fires, they wait to catch insects that are fleeing the flames.

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