Tag Archives: Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage

I  frequently see Cattle Egrets in my local travels at some small farms with cattle, horses and goats. This is the first time I’ve seen one up close at any of the swamp / marsh areas in South Carolina.

Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors
Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors

Slightly smaller than a Little Blue Heron, I wasn’t surprised when he disappeared from my sight in the tall vegetation. After poking around a bit he stuck his head up for a look.

Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors
Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors

He moved to some shorter vegetation along the edge of the pond and I was able to get to a better angle.

Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors
Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors

Finally he stood fully upright showing off his golden head, neck and chest feathers.

Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors
Cattle Egret, Breeding Colors

Everyone Face Left!

Well, almost everyone.

As I was maneuvering to a spot where I could view the wading bird feeding frenzy I spotted this small group of egrets off to the side. They seemed focused on something to my right; the big group was further back and to my left. The weren’t interested in joining in with the others. Perhaps they’d had their fill.

Egret Gathering
Egret Gathering, Face Right, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egret

When the larger groups from the huge flock took off it was pretty noisy, mostly from the wing beats. During one of those lift offs this group decided it was time to move on.

Egret Gathering Takes Flight
Egret Gathering Takes Flight