Species Index

Bubulcus ibis
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Common Name: Cattle Egret

Distribution: South-eastern, south-western and northern mainland Australia and Tasmania.

Ecological Notes: Inhabits grasslands, woodlands and wetlands, and is not common in arid areas. It also forages in pastures and croplands, especially where drainage is poor. The Cattle Egret preys upon grasshoppers, especially during breeding season, but eats many other invertebrates and vertebrates including frogs, cane toads, lizards and some small mammals.

Additional Notes: Its sharp bill is used in a lunging and stabbing manner. The Cattle Egret often feeds by following large animals such as cattle, grabbing insects and worms that they disturb with their feet. It has a short, relatively thick neck, and shorter legs, and is the smallest of the white herons. It stands around 480 – 530 mm tall.

References: Atlas of Living Australia at Cattle Egret Accessed 14 August 2023.
eBird at Accessed 21 July 2023.