Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret

Here is another species that i’ve been finding a lot around the area were I live. Cattle Egrets get their name because of their relationship with cattle. Often seen in pastures near or sometimes standing on cows backs, the two have a comfortable friendship. Egrets eat the ticks and insects on or near grazing cows so both benefit. These long legged white birds are a common sight in pastures and along road sides in my area.

The tracks pictured above and below were taken after cows and egrets had moved on to another area and I came in and found these nice tracks. Both tracks are approximately 4 inches long and 3 inches wide and in the classic bird configuration. If you look closely at the top photo you can see webbing between toes 3 and 4. And you can see that the bird was in a walk, unfortunately I didn’t’ think to measure the stride, but from looking at the photo I’d guess it to be about 5 to 6 inches. In the Birds Track and Sign book it list the walking stride of Cattle Egrets as 4.5 inches to 10 inches(Elbroch 2001).

Cattle Egret

Here’s a link to the Wikipedia Cattle Egret page if you’re interesting in learning more.

Reference

Elbroch, Mark, and Eleanor Marks. Bird Tracks & Sign: a Guide to North American Species. Stackpole Books, 2001. 

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