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Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret
Photo Information
Copyright: Ram Thakur (ramthakur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-09-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma 70-300 4-5.6 APO DG MACRO, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-06-19 23:39
Viewed: 3776
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a cosmopolitan species of heron (family Ardeidae) found in the tropics, sub-tropics and warm temperate zones. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Bubulcus, although some authorities regard its two subspecies as full species. Despite the similarities in plumage to the egrets of the genus Egretta, it is more closely related to the herons of Ardea. Originally native to parts of Asia, Africa and Europe, it has undergone a rapid expansion in its distribution and successfully colonised much of the rest of the world.

It is a stocky white bird adorned with buff plumes in the breeding season which nests in colonies, usually near bodies of water and often with other wading birds. The nest is a platform of sticks in trees or shrubs. Unlike most other herons, it feeds in relatively dry grassy habitats, often accompanying cattle or other large mammals, since it catches insect and small vertebrate prey disturbed by these animals. Some populations of the Cattle Egret are migratory and others show post-breeding dispersal.

The adult Cattle Egret has few predators, but birds or mammals may raid its nests, and chicks may be lost to starvation, calcium deficiency or disturbance from other large birds. This species removes ticks and flies from cattle, but it can be a safety hazard at airfields, and has been implicated in the spread of tick-borne animal diseases.

Relationship With Humans

A conspicuous species, the Cattle Egret has attracted many common names. These mostly relate to its habit of following cattle and other large animals, and it is known variously as cow crane, cow bird or cow heron, or even elephant bird, rhinoceros egret. Its Arabic name, abu qerdan, means “father of ticks", a name derived from the huge number of parasites such as avian ticks found in its breeding colonies.

The Cattle Egret is a popular bird with cattle ranchers for its perceived role as a bio-control of cattle parasites such as ticks and flies. A study in Australia found that Cattle Egrets reduced the number of flies that bothered cattle by pecking them directly off the skin. It was the benefit to stock that prompted ranchers and the Hawaiian Board of Agriculture and Forestry to release the species in Hawaii.
Not all interactions between humans and Cattle Egrets are beneficial. The Cattle Egret can be a potential safety hazard due to its habit of feeding in large groups in the grassy verges of airports, and it has been implicated in the spread of animal infections such as heartwater and possibly Newcastle disease.


siggi, Argus, eqshannon, jcoowanitwong, Noisette, goldyrs, sranjan, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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To jlinaresp: Helloramthakur 1 06-20 05:07
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Mr. Ram,
A nice capture of this beautiful cattle egret. Very good sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-06-20 1:43]

Hello Ram,
This bird is a beauty, very elegant! You managed well with exposure and composition is very nice. This is a lovely picture. Thanks,
Best regards Siggi

Hello Ram,

Good capture, these birds are usually quiet temperament and allow certain facilities, the photographer. I understand that have spread throughout the world. Here in Venezuela we have also, curiously, here presents a tuft of yellow color something like opaque yellow feathers in the lower back of the wings and chest. Can we have this here, and I see more often, whether one of these sub species name in your note or perhaps an immature individual.

Either way, the picture was, as always, very well captured.

Greetings / Thank

Happy WE!


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-06-20 5:00]

Hello Ram,
A superb portrait of a Cattle Egret in non-breeding plumage taken from a fine POV and contrasting nicely against the natural grassy BG with excellent sharpness.
Nice one from your archives and thanks for sharing it,
All the best,

The closest I have been able to get is maybe 100 yards...a bit flighty unless I catch them off guard...in which case I had no camera! Very nice close in Ram!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-06-20 7:44]

Hello Ram,
Beautiful photo of this Cattle Egret. Very nice natural colours and good sharpness. Pleasant contrast against the BG and DOF. Excellent POV and composition.

Hi Ram,
Very nice capture on this pure white egret. A great moment.

Hello Ram
superb image of this egret, wonderful composition and nice decor
you have taken this shot with very great details on the bird but also on the grass
the colors are delightful
Have a nice sunday

A splendid shot, Sir...
I love the details, especially the eye, which is so well displayed...
And yes, it also show that its somewhere in the Heron family!

Dear Ram Sir,
Well shot photograph with an excellent details of this bird. The square framing makes it different from your previous posts on this bird. I like the notes and your way of presentation. Thanks for sharing Sir!
PS: Do not mind my quality of photographs on TN these days; soon I will get something different from NE India (Tawang).

Hi Ram
Nice capture.
Great details and good clarity.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-06-23 20:47]

Hi Ram.
I like this three-dimensional shot a lot. You have pictured this elegant and beautiful bird amazingly with refined exposure, at very attractive pose and lovely scenery. DOF and composition are superb as well as soft lighting and vivid colours. My warm greetings and TFS.

Hi Ram,
Thank you very much for your comment.But again I got point by someone and I deleted my picture.

Well balance shot of this Cattle Egret
Upper portion-Little bit Noise
Lower portion-Good(due to grass noise not visible)...REGARDS

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