Cattle Egret


Species: Ardea ibis

(Birds of Drouin and District P68)


Size 480-530mm

Sexes similar. Non-breeding adults are all white with a yellow eye and bill. When breeding the adults have a flush of orange plumage on their head, breast and back.


‘Croaks’, particularly at nest.


(Map credit:

Widespread from n WA to past Adelaide in SA. Also, s-e of WA. Winter-spring migrant in SA, Vic and Tas.


Breeds Nov-Dec in n Australia. Stick nest in trees lining lagoons and swamps. Cosmopolitan, migratory.


A communal small egret that has the habit of feeding on insects stirred up by the movement of cattle through pasture. Sometimes ride on the backs of the cattle. Flies in flocks with legs extended. Introduced in the 1930s but now well established.