Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis   [Linnaeus, 1758]

Jump To:Other Names Records Books & Links

For details point at or click the button; for sources point at the button

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Ardeidae
BTO Codes: EC, CATEG EURING No: 1110
Number in Britain: 3 records/year
Conservation Status:
UK: Not Assessed
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Scarce Visitor
Subspecies: ibis recorded in Britain (of 2 subsp. in the world)
Length: 50 cm Wingspan: 93 cm Weight: M/F: 350 g    
Scientific name from: Med. L.: bubulcus=cow-herd and Gr.: ibis=an ibis
World Distribution: s Europe, Africa, s,e Asia, Australasia, Americas
Habitat: Wet fields, marsh and pasture, often with grazing animals
Diet: Mostly insects, on wet or dry land, especially near cattle/other livestock
TitBit: A contender for the world's most cosmopolitan species, the Cattle Egret has rapidly spread through the Americas following the arrival of some storm-blown individuals in Brazil in the 1930s; it associates with most large mammals (not just cattle) eating insects disturbed by their trampling  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto

Records and Distribution

First Record: Devon, 1805 (Palmer. P 2000. First for Britain & Ireland, Arlequin Press. [502.74 PAL])
Total Number of Records (1950-2007): 136 Summary of Records by Year
Most Likely to Occur in: Occasional in all
Most Recent County Records:
   Scotland: Angus & Dundee (1979), Dumfries & Galloway (2007), Highland (2007), Outer Hebrides (2007), Shetland (1999),
   North-east England: Cleveland (1986), Durham (1979), Northumberland (1986), East Yorkshire (2007), North Yorkshire (1992), South Yorkshire (1996), West Yorkshire (2006),
   North-west England: Cheshire (2007), Cumbria (1987), Lancashire (2007),
   English Midlands: Derbyshire (1996), Leicestershire (1993), Northamptonshire (2006), Nottinghamshire (1999), Shropshire (1987), Staffordshire (1987), Warwickshire (1994), Worcestershire (1993),
   Eastern England: Cambridgeshire (2007), Essex (2007), Hertfordshire (1995), Lincolnshire (1992), Norfolk (2006), Suffolk (2007),
   South-east England: Berkshire (2007), Buckinghamshire (2002), Hampshire (2007), Isle of Wight (1996), Kent (2007), Greater London (2007), Oxfordshire (1971), Surrey (2001), East Sussex (2007), West Sussex (2007),
   South-west England: Cornwall (2007), Devon (2007), Dorset (2007), Gloucestershire (2007), Somerset (2007), Wiltshire (2006), Isles of Scilly (2007),
   Wales: Anglesey (1981), Caernarfonshire (1998), Glamorgan (2007), Gower (2007), Gwent (1981), Pembrokeshire (1996),

Information provided by BirdGuides and BBRC

Other Names

Western Cattle Egret, Buff-backed Heron
Gaelic: Welsh: Crëyr y Gwartheg
Danish: Kohejre Dutch: Koereiger
Finnish: Lehmähaikara French: Héron garde-boeufs
German: Kuhreiher Hungarian: Pásztorgém
Icelandic: Kúhegri Irish: Éigrit Eallaigh
Italian: Airone guardabuoi Norwegian: Kuhegre
Polish: Czapla zlotawa Portuguese: Garça-boieira
Spanish: Garcilla bueyera Swedish: Kohäger

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Voisin, C. 1991 The herons of Europe Poyser, London [598.461 VOI]
   Kushlan, J.A. & Hancock, J. 2005 The Herons Oxford University Press [598.461 KUS]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides
All About Birds (from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)