adult transitioning into breeding plumage (California, USA; 2006-04-01)

Cattle Egret
Bubulcus ibis

Native Range: Africa and Eurasia, but recently has spread worldwide.

Notes: relatively short neck, and sturdy orange bill help to distinguish this species from other egrets; evolved in association with large mammalian herbivores in Africa, but now often feeds among herds of domestic cattle where it eats ticks off the animals' bodies and captures insects disturbed by the cow's movements. Also stalks frogs, lizards, and other such prey. These birds invaded South America (by flying from Africa) in 1877 and expanded their range to North America by 1941. Juveniles sometimes disperse as far as 5,000 km from the natal site.

adult in nonbreeding plumage (Florida, USA; 2007-12-21)

neck tucked back in flight (Dominican Republic; 2006-12-12)
stocky yellow bill and dark legs (California, USA; 2006-04-01) adult in nonbreeding plumage (Florida, USA; 2007-12-31)
adult transitioning into breeding plumage (Hawaii, USA; 2007-04-02) adult transitioning into breeding plumage (California, USA; 2007-03-18)
flock, with a Snowy Egret fifth from the right (Florida, USA; 2007-12-31) group in flight (California, USA; 2007-02-03)
adult in transitional plumage (South Africa; 2007-07-01) roosting colony (South Africa; 2007-06-30)
posing for a portrait (California, USA; 2007-03-18) flies with neck folded back on body (Hawaii, USA; 2007-04-01)
maintaining its balance (Hawaii, USA; 2007-04-01) posing for a flight portrait (Hawaii, USA; 2007-04-01)
adult showing reddish breeding plumes (Hawaii, USA; 2007-04-01) standing on a fence (Hawaii, USA; 2007-04-01)