Photographer's Note

Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) in the Ricefield, Malinao, Aklan, Philippines

These are birds are quite universal - they have been very successful colonizers and are found in every continent except Antarctica. They are small birds, usually stocky, and have short thick bills and buff backs, breasts and crowns in breeding plumage. They are otherwise white.

They are migratory but most, if you find them anywhere, are residents of that particular area. In the Philippines they are commonly found foraging for insects especially grasshopper in rice fields (and thus are welcome when there is an infestation) but sometimes are considered also as pests as they do disturb newly planted rice especially when there are a lot of them. But farmers don't bother them at all.

They are frequently associated with cattle (carabaos) and they sometime ride on the backs of these beasts ... truly a rustic, rural photographic moment if you can catch them on top of the carabao.

Cattle Egrets are evaluated to be of least concern on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

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Additional Photos by Ken Ilio (flip89) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 537 W: 173 N: 576] (3418)
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