Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat.
(Please wait for a few seconds while the photo gallery loads)

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Scientific Name  : Bubulcus ibis
Kingdom             : Animalia
Phylum               : Chordata
Class                   : Aves
Order                  : Pelecaniformes
Family                 : Ardeidae
Genus                  : Bubulcus
Species               : B. ibis

How do I identify this bird: 

Take a good look at the photo gallery above and observe the birds carefully and note the following:

  • These Egrets are about 48-53 cms long.
  • They are short and stocky.
  • They have a short yellow bill.
  • they have short legs with black feet.
  • In the breeding plumage they have an orange-buff on their head , neck and mantle.
  • In non-breeding pure white plumage.
  • They can be distinguished from the little egret by the colour of their bill which is yellow and not black.
  • Both male and female are alike.
Where do I find this bird:
  • Around DPS Tapi and DPS Surat they are very common.
  • They are mostly seen with grazing cattle, stalking energetically alongside the animals, running in and out between their legs or riding on top of their backs.
  • They do this to try and pick insects which fall off into the grass.
  • During the paddy planting season they are found in large flocks in the paddy fields not only near DPS Tapi and DPS Surat but around most of the city.
  • They also feed on grasshoppers, frogs lizard, fish and other flies and insects.
  • Their nesting season is generally between June – August.
  • They make their nests generally atop large leafy trees by making an untidy platform with twigs just like that of the Crow’s.
Local Names: 

Hindi         : Gai-bagle, Badami bagla, Doria Bagla, Surkhia bagla
Marathi     : Gochandi khao
Bengali      : Gai bak, Go bak
Assamese : Jobogali
Tamil         : Unni kokku