3 CAT­TLE EGRET

Bird Watching (UK) - - Five To Find In January -

Even a decade ago, it would have seemed far fetched to sug­gest go­ing out in Jan­uary to add Cat­tle Egret to your UK year list. But times have changed, and we are liv­ing in an era when au­tumn roost­ing flocks of more than 100 birds have been recorded in the south-west of Eng­land. Cat­tle Egrets, like Lit­tle Egrets (and to a lesser ex­tent Great White Egrets) be­fore them, are be­com­ing es­tab­lished parts of the Bri­tish avi­fauna. Slightly smaller and chunkier than Lit­tle Egrets and with a shorter, thicker, orange bill, Cat­tle Egrets are most of­ten seen in as­so­ci­a­tion with live­stock (cat­tle and sheep, mainly). They ben­e­fit from the in­sects associated with the mam­mals and their drop­pings, as well as from the dis­tur­bance of the ground re­veal­ing ‘egret food’.

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