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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cattle Egret

Afrikaans name: Vee-reier

Cattle Egret

Photo © Steven Herbert

Bubulcus ibis

The Cattle Egret found in South Africa is referred to as the Western Cattle Egret in many publications.

Cattle Egrets are found in tropical, sub-tropical and other warm temperate areas around the world.

The Cattle Egret is normally white but develops buff-coloured plumes during the breeding season.

Cattle Egrets can be found in a variety of habitats. We are used to seeing them in grassy areas accompanying herds of cattle, Buffalo or other mammals. They can also be found by water and farmlands.

They eat insects, frogs and other small animals. They accompany larger mammals to catch prey items that are disturbed by them. Cattle Egrets will also eat ticks off animals.

Sexes have similar plumage to each other although males are slightly larger and have longer plumes. Young Cattle Egrets have a black bill.

Cattle Egrets normally breed in colonies which in some area may include thousands of pairs. The breeding colonies are often situated near water.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 38

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 173

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 173

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 54

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 18

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 4

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 24

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 17

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 9

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Year Published: 2005 - Page: 7

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 26

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 28

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 177

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 158

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 54

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 72

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 72

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Year Published: 1990 - Page: 15

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 23

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 31

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 36

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 53

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 53

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 58

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 62

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 22

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Year Published: 1979 - Page: 4

The Herons Handbook - Author: James Hancock and James Kushlan - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 142

Wading Birds of the World - Revised edition - Author: Eric and Richard Soothill - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 38

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 32

World Birds - Author: Brian P. Martin - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 73

List of South African Birds

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