Photo Credit: MWT
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a bird of heron family, Which is cosmopolitan in distribution and found mainly in tropics, subtropics, and warm temperate zone. Compared to other egrets, the cattle egret is thick-necked and short-legged. They often accompany cattle or other large mammals, catching insect and small vertebrate prey disturbed by these animals. Some populations are migratory and others show post-breeding dispersal. Also, its yellow bill is stubby in comparison with other egrets. It is a white bird adorned with buff plumes in the breeding season, it takes on a plumage far different from the others: Buff-orange feathers adorn its back, crown, and breast, and at the peak of breeding, the bird’s bill and legs turn pink.
It nests in colonies, usually near bodies of water and often with other wading birds. The nest is a platform of sticks in trees or shrubs. Cattle egrets exploit drier and open habitats more than other heron species. Their feeding habitats include seasonally inundated grasslands, pastures, farmlands, wetlands, and rice paddies. This species maintains a special relationship with cattle, which extends to the large grazing mammals; wider human farming is believed to be a major cause of their suddenly expanded range. The cattle egret removes ticks and flies from cattle and consumes them. This benefits both species, but it has been implicated in the spread of tick-borne animal .They often accompany cattle or other large mammals, catching insect and small vertebrate prey disturbed by these animals. Some populations are migratory and others show post-breeding dispersal.
Breeding colonies of Cattle egret was recorded in the RRM campus in Janakpur by Mithila Wildlife Trust.