The Cattle Egret is a small heron that is a rare visitor to this region. Yet, given its expansionist history, it just might become more common in the future.
The Cattle Egret is remarkable in the way, in modern times, it has increased its range. Initially it was adapted to feeding among the large grazing herds of Africa where it picked up disturbed insects. However, it began to take advantage of ranches where cattle now provided the insects, both by disturbing the grass and by having parasites. In its search for new cattle herds, this egret spread to the ranches of South America by the 1930s, to North America by the 1940s, and eastern Canada by the 1960s. Along the way, it discovered the similar advantages of mechanical grass munchers, such as lawn mowers.
The Cattle Egrets shown here were not photographed here, but in time they maybe could be.
A Cattle Egret had been foraging on a cow’s back when a tail flip drove it off.
This egret waited for a passing lawnmower and after a brief chase, grabbed disturbed insects.
“If you have lawns to mow, I have a service for you.”