Despite the erratic weather and cold, wet Spring, April has been full of surprises and opportunities for unusual photographs. A family of red foxes, snow-covered wildflowers and a rare sighting of an egret were among the highlights. This post is about the egret, a new addition to my life list of birds.
Cattle egrets have been in the U.S. for about 70 years and are most common in the Southeast in field-wetland habitats. However, their range is expanding and sightings of birds father north and inland are occurring more often. Prior to my encounter with this solitary bird, my knowledge of cattle egrets was limited to nature shows featuring birds foraging on and around large mammals in their native Africa!
I wasn’t surprised to be ignored by the cattle in the muddy barnyard near the road, but the egret’s tolerance of my parked vehicle and clicking shutter at close range was enlightening. He was far more interested in maneuvering a step ahead of a curious cow and occasionally stopping to forage on its head!
I think it’s safe to assume that this beef cow had never seen a Cattle Egret before, and I was amazed at the cow’s seemingly innate tolerance and understanding of this symbiotic relationship.
Many thanks to the farmer who alerted me to the presence of a white bird “harassing” his cows! Farmer, cows and photographer all had a unique, cooperative experience.
Photos by NB Hunter (April 20, 2019). © All rights reserved.