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Cattle Egret for Peter

Cattle Egret for Peter
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-05-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-09-07 9:19
Viewed: 4709
Favorites: 5 [view]
Points: 94
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Cattle Egret / Bubulcus ibis

The Cattle Egret is number 50 in the series of the birds of the Kruger National Park which I am still sharing. I would like to dedicate this specific image to Peter van Zoest, whom I know has appreciated and enjoyed this series so far, and was looking forward to number 50 in anticipation. Peter has an incredible gallery, stocked with birds in all shapes and sizes. I must admit I envy him for some of his photographs taken.

Physical characteristics
The cattle egret, also known as the buff-backed heron, is a white bird that ranges in length from 19 inches to 21 inches. They have a short, yellow bill. Their legs and feet are a light orange colour. They have a medium-size length neck. When it is breeding season, the adult birds develop buff feathers on their heads, backs, and breasts. Their legs and bills also become brighter in colour.

Distribution and Habitat
Originally from Africa, the cattle egret is now distributed among six different continents: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. In the United States, the cattle egret can be found in every state except Indiana, New Hampshire, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The birds have also taken up a migratory pattern, which take them in the winter to Latin America and the Caribbean. The egret's habitat consists of fields, marshes, freshwater wetlands, pastures, livestock pens, swamps, and air strips. The cattle egret can be found near cattle because it eats the insects that associate with cattle.

Typical, heron-like 'aaaark' or 'pok-pok'.

Cattle egrets live in colonies and are very sociable. Colonies can consist of several hundreds of birds living in one big tree. They also nest with other types of birds. Cattle egret travel daily to foraging areas singly or in flocks. The egrets follow cattle, wild or domesticated feeding on the insects that are disturbed by the cattle. These birds are very adaptable to the new environments.

The diet of cattle egrets consists of insects particularly grasshoppers and they avoid bumble bees, wasps, and yellow jackets. They expend less energy in catching their food by following cattle and farm machinery and catching the insects that are flushed. In aquatic habitats they eat frogs and fish. Captive egrets in zoos are given smelt, mealworms, and crickets to eat.

During the mating season the adult birds start to display their buff plumes upon their head, breast, and back. The male bird collects materials for a nest; the female then creates the nest. The pair mates while on their nest. About 2-6 eggs are laid. The eggs are incubated for about 18-30 days. The mother gives an additional amount of male hormones to the first eggs that are laid. This supplement makes these chicks more aggressive. This may be the mothers way to give an extra push for the survival of the first born chicks. The first born chick may kill the younger ones when competing for food.

Cattle egrets are not endangered or threatened species. In fact, they are highly successful because they feed around large grazing animals. These birds are common. Since the late 1800's these birds have expanded across half the world. The cattle egret was introduced to Hawaii in 1959 and they may be accountable for the decrease in native wetland birds because of their increasing competition for food and nest areas, and directly preying upon young birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages
Bosluisvoël … Afrikaans
Koereiger … Dutch
Héron garde-boeufs … French
Kuhreiher … German
Garça-boieira … Portuguese


I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

marius-secan, eqshannon, soccer, Pitoncle, cobra112, buscape, dmark11, BREARD, ferranjlloret, PaulLees, maurydv, anel, paolo49, stefanovet, PeterZ, maaciejka, jurek1951, Luis52, ramthakur, devildoc, peter_stoeckl, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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To ellis49: Yearly tripMiss_Piggy 1 09-08 07:09
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Anna,
Perfect shot at the right moment when the wings get the light from a good angle and the bird stay still.
Exceptional clarity, focus and sharp details as usual.
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-09-07 9:45]

Hello Anna,
What a surprise! I'm very honoured with this wonderful dedication. This number 50 is splendid in all aspects. Very beautiful light and colours in a fantastic white balance. Excellent sharpness with a perfect focus on the head. Beautiful blue sky in the background. Pleasing composition. Congratulations on this beauty!
Straight into my favorites.
Kind regards,

Hello Anna,
A well deserved dedication to Peter. And what a beautiful image! There is nothing about this image that is not very pleasing. Just fabulous! Well done and best wishes.

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2011-09-07 10:23]

Bela imagem com qualidade muito boa exelente PV e cores muito detalhadas parabéns.

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  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2011-09-07 11:06]

Hi Anna,
Perfect shot,good pose,nice colours, good composition and details.
Beautiful white bird against blue sky in the background.
Regards Jiri.

Oh gosh Anna...what a nice thought and such a perfect choice for Peter. I see he was thrilled. also another Favorited this one. that is indeed the compliment it needs. Great image! Just super!

  • Great 
  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2011-09-07 12:03]


Excellent image you have posted. I like the composition, clear BG, clarity, sharpness, lighting and colours displayed. Most of all your control of the light is impressive as it is very difficult taking a white subject.
Well done!

Bonjour Anna,
Excellent angle de prise de vue créant une très belle opposition avec l'arrière-plan sous une belle lumière permettant d'apprécier les détails dans une couleur difficile à exploiter.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2011-09-07 12:36]

hello Anna
Superb capture!

Hello Anna,
Excellent exposure and nice composition. I also like sharp details and clear BG. Well done!

Ciao Anna. One of your best. Excellent managment of light and white and great contrast against the blue BG. Great shot from the low POV.


Hello Anna,

an nice dedication to my dutch photograper friend.
Good pov and sharpness.S uburp managing white balance and wit fantastic details.
Fine colors.


Hello Anna,
great shot of this Cattle Egret with fine management of light and perfect sharpness. I also like the natural colours and the very good background. Well done, my compliments.
Best wishes,

Hi Anna
Superb! I love the beutiful white Egret against that great blue sky. Nice focus on the eye and details in the feathers. Very nice capture.


  • Great 
  • BREARD Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 1 N: 419] (2141)
  • [2011-09-07 22:40]

Bonjour Anna,
Belle lumière et belle orientation du sujet qui nous permet d'apprécier cette image.

Hi Anna,
Excellent image. all parameters are perfect.
Also thank you for the many details you have provided us with.

Hallo Anna,
Very excellent shot, fantastic POV
TFS &best regards

Hi Anna, Wow what a very well exposed image of this Cattle Egret my friend, amazing sharpness with fine detail, just love the colour saturation and the blue sky giving you the perfect back-drop, fabulous POV, great effort here Anna and very well done,
Best regards,


Hallo Anna,
what a fantastic image of the Cattle Egret, outstanding sharpness and marvellous colours very well saturated, excellent from all aspects
Best regards

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-09-08 4:49]

Hello Anna,
This is really a lucky shot! Everything here seems to match. The color-contrast, the formidable white of the plumage which you have perfectly photographed and the well chosen vertical framing. A common bird, rarely shown so well.
Very kind dedication to our bird-lover Peter too.
Thanks and kind regards

Hi Anna,
Great close up.Excellent colours with fantastic composition and details. Fabulous control of the white.
Regards, Paolo

his name is in Italian " Airone Guardabuoi". I love your photo for the warm light and the great heron definition! Brava!

Ciao Anna, great capture of lovely Cattle Egret on a beautiful blue sky, wonderful natural colors, perfect focus on eye, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hallo Miss Piggy,
this is a GREAT picture, I add it to my Fav's.
The bird is pin sharp with fine details, I can see the pupil in the eye- The picture is also well exposed wiht accurate WB.
Beautiful colours and well composed.
Very fine work, old friend.
Is it not time for your yearly trip to KNP.
My best regards to Loot.

hello Anna
very nice picture with good details and beautiful colours
super BG and good sharpness
thanks greeting lou

Impressive photo Anna! Very good pose of the bird, excellent POV and composition, wonderful colours and fantastic lighting. Very good sharpness too.

Hi Anna,
really amazing bird. Great white balance. Excellent point of view. Great blue sky.
Thanks for sharing,

wonderful photo my dear Anna, the colors the sharpness the light all are excellent, a big bravo!
regards Nasos

Anna, this is a very good shot of this egret. It has good sharpness and detail. Looks god against the blue sky. Have a great week, Bill

Hi Anna
Wow, this is really special.
From experience I know that it is very difficult to get good detail out of white, but you have managed it expertly! The image is pin sharp with great detail.
The subject is perfectly framed in the "V" shapr of the branch.
Very well done! If you ever do a bird book, this should be on the cover!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-09-09 1:57]

Hi Anna,isn't easy to comment a perfection like that,what a beautiful egret and what a magnificent composition and quality,the best light balance for the best white and fantastics details and colors.Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

Hi Anna,
this is a fantastic shot of the Egret, a great close up. Lovely detail and sharpness on the bird . Great light and your exposure is very good.

perfect cattle egret capture ! great composition, greetings Ori

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2011-09-10 7:26]

Hola Querida Anna.
Como ya es costumbre. Hermosa y bella foto.
Exelente la iluminacion y el fondo en color azul, lo que le da mas realce al plumaje en blanco de esta Garcita ganadera.
La dedicatoria para Peter es muy merecida.
Saludos Anna.

The blue sky does it for me, Anna. What a stupedous capture in terms of its aesthetic appeal!
Cattle Egrets are a common sight in our rural India and we tend to ignore this bird as common and ordinary. Your shot shows it is a charming fellow with its very own special features such as those beautiful eyes.
Best regards.

Hello Anna,

An outstanding composition!
And the bird does its part of the job well too, with a great majestic pose...
Impressive details in the all white plumage, skillfully exposed!

Pablo -

Gran trabajo Anna. La luz y los colores sobresalientes.
El conjunto bien estructurado y equilibrado.
Saludos: J. Ignasi.

great capture Anna, excellent white balance, congrats for the picture, you present good in avery nice composition this wonderful bird,

have a good time,

ciao, tino

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-09-16 20:31]

Hello Anna,
Outstanding white balance obtained in this stunning image. The framing is superb and the focus is tac sharp. The cloudless bright blue sky reminds me of those in Arizona.
This is a very beautiful bird and you have done a fine job of capturing him for all to enjoy viewing. Very informative notes! I have to admit admit, Kruger must be an awesome place!!!

Dear Anna,

Incredible shot ... congrats. The only criticism I have is that he background has a little noise that might have been eliminated. TFS.

Have a great day,


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  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-09-20 20:23]

Hello Anna,
such a lovely presentation. so beautiful with the ever blue sky as its background. exciting well balanced of white. Good combination of colors, clarity and sharpness. The branch too offer a pleasant artistic scene.
Very well done.


Bonjour Anna,

Beautiful image. Well balanced compostion. Sharp focus and good exposure. The low POV isolating the bird against a clean blue sky is ideal. A great shot deserving all the good appreciation already made by all those TN members. Nice work and TFS


  • Great 
  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2011-09-23 15:23]

Hello Anna!
Really a first class pic, my dear Anna! Lovely bird so white against the blue sky...what a great effect! An outstanding shot! Bravo!
Nice w-end!

Hi Anna,
a perfectly composed image of the cattle egret in just a perfect pose. Feathers marvellously shaped by the touch of a most favourable early morning or late afternoon sun. Wonderful contrast against the deep blue sky. A fine dedication to our friend Peter van Zoest, one of the masters of bird photography.
Thank you! With best regards,

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-10-11 0:50]

Hi Anna.
I also cannot pass this masterpiece. Al is amazing including charming photo model. Pictured scene at whole, precise exposure and brilliant reproduction of every feather and other parts of the bird and dry branches. Blue sky is superb for the subject too. My congratulations and Bravo.

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2011-10-29 9:35]

Bonjour Anna, it's a pleasure to see you again on TN. Il y a longtemps que je vous ai quitté, problèmes santé....Vos photos sont toujours admirables et particuliérement celle-ci qui présente un aigrette si soyeuse dans son plumage et si légére dans son attitude. Congratulations and best regards, Didier.

Hello Anna!

What an amazing picture of this beautifull Egret. Nice pose. Great Quality!


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