Image #201 – Cold Cattle egret

Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis)
Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis)

One of my favorite “Florida birds” is the Cattle Egret.  I put that “Florida birds” in quotations because this bird is in no way exclusive to Florida. It is found just about everywhere on the globe, rather like the Great Blue Heron. It is thought to have originated in Asia which is a long way from Florida. But I associate this bird with Florida because it was so ubiquitous when I was growing up. In those days Sarasota County had lots of pastures and lots of cattle. These little beauties were always in evidence. Sometimes they would be perched on the cow, picking bugs from the cow’s back or up near the cow’s ear. The cows seemed content with this arrangement and why not? Florida bugs can be very irritating.

This particular Cattle Egret was a long way from a pasture (although several decades ago it was grazing land).  It was in a parking lot, using a car as a wind shield. The wind was wicked yesterday and it was cold by Florida standards. This little guy was smart to take a breather — on the leeward side and in the sun.  When I looked up Cattle Egret on Wikipedia the entry stated, “The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a cosmopolitan species of heron …” Too right! ❧

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