Cattle egrets

A cattle egret checks in with its cow.A cattle egret in a pasture
Cattle egrets are a common sight, particularly in rural areas. The name comes from their tendency to spend a good deal of time with cattle and other large mammals. Not only do they feed on insects and other small creatures disturbed by the cattle, but they also eat ticks and flies on the cattle themselves.

They’re not tied to cattle though. I’ve seen them trailing people mowing lawns for the same reason. That’s to snap up the insects disturbed by the activity, not peck for ticks on the person driving the mower.

When I see them in a field, by themselves, such as in the photo below, I always imagine them saying something along the lines of, ‘Hey, where did the cattle go?’

Cattle egrets in a field

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