Quilting, Farming, Variety

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Snatching Up an Easy Meal

Do you see the white thing behind our bull? That is a bird called a cattle egret, an opportunistic feeder, who follows large animals or machines to catch insects they stir up. They feed on grasshoppers, crickets (way to go!) spiders, flies, frogs (oh no!) and moths. Usually they forage in flocks,
as you can see in this picture, taken early one morning after a good rain (yes, we got a good rain!). I watched as they followed the heifers, snatching up an easy meal every few steps.

I remember having a flock follow me on the tractor one year while I was raking hay; a splendid opportunity for a big meal! However, if I were a heifer, I think having a bird in my face would be annoying.

Do you have cattle egrets in your area?


I apologize for my pictures; hopefully you can see the egrets :)


  1. I THINK we have cattle egrets, but I'm not sure. (Growing up across the highway from a dairy barn, you'd think that would be something I'd know....)
    Living as near the coast as we do, we often see seagulls following tractors as they plow the fields.

  2. When our oldest son and his family lived near Houston, we used to drive by ranches with so many egrets feeding by the cattle. They are really pretty I think ;-)

  3. I don't think I've ever seen them before. After we have a rain, the robins have a field day in our yard plucking out the earthworms.

  4. I don't think I've ever seen an egret before but I will look for them next time we take a drive in the country. I love to take country roads, I miss that life.
    Happy to hear you had rain, I bet everything is happy to have had rain.