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.

References and further reading

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

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 30

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

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

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 43

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

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

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

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

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 105

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 23

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

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

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

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

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

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 24

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

Geoff Lockwoods Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Published: 0 - Page: 158

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

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 27

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

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

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

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

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 26

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

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

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 24

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 30

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

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

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

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

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

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 41

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

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

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