Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Egrets ... I've Had A Few

This is a pretty common sight around here.

Any small animal stirred up out of the grass by this calf has to run a gauntlet of cattle egrets who are eagerly awaiting just such an event. The two on the calf's right seem especially focused, but I think we have a daydreamer (he's probably blogging this in his head) on the lower right.

Cattle egrets arrived in Florida in the late 1940's and they seem to have arrived in the Americas on their own from the Old World.
They seem to be a very adaptable bird, and hence, very successful at colonizing new turf.

Their habit of eating migrating warblers might freak out some of the aficionados of LGB's, but that sounds like an isolated unique situation according to the Cornell site.

Of course, there are a LOT of these guys, so it may be tough to be a tired, migrating warbler who decides to rest out at Fort Jefferson ...
... Sort of a Bates Motel for birds.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I meant to tell you that I really like your new cover shot the other day. How did you keep from smashing that skeeter? I thought I heard that the egrets were brought over on purpose by cattlemen to help with ticks and other parasites. Didn't know about eating small birds though.

Bto J

Deb said...

Clever title!

I'm pretty sure I saw one of these in the cow pasture across the road from my place this summer. They have been expanding their range northward.

threecollie said...

Every five or ten years one or two show up way up here in the north. We love to see them! Sometimes they even perch on the barn roof.

Joey B said...

ok Frank...

I had no idea that cattle egrets weren't indigenous to Florida. I miss them up here in Massachusetts. They supposedly winter here, but I've never seen them.

Then again, most people are surprised when I tell them that my dad first started seeing armadillos in Arcadia in the early 40's. I guess their range was just expanding to the southern parts then.

VitaminSea said...

So they were the first snowbirds? ;)

Byyyy the way, I had 12 fat 4" fish in my pond yesterday morning.
Twelve, fat, four inch little buggers that I raised from babies.
Now I have one.
ONE!

I am not an egret fan at the moment. I realize he or she was hungry, but there are plenty of fish in the sea, and down on the beach in the fisherman's bait bucket!

Thus ends my mini anti-bird rant.

jojo said...

what i want to know are they picking thru when their meandering our lawns. :)

my chickens don't like them one bit and will chase them off the property. its quite funny to watch.

Sharon said...

LOL! :)

robin andrea said...

On the northern coast of California we see quite a few Great Egrets. I always enjoy seeing them hanging out with the cattle. I wonder if the Great Egrets I've been seeing are actually Cattle Egret? Mmmm.

SophieMae said...

Ya gotta admire a bird that flew across the ocean to find more bugs. 8-] They follow Duller around sometimes when he's mowing. I still get tickled when I see one standing on a cow's back.

The daydreamer in your pic... he did it his way.

Cathy S. said...

You are a master at clever titles. Now I have to go listen to some music to get Frank out of my head.

Thunder Dave said...

You crack my a$$ up!

Dani said...

I didn't know they feasted on little birds!I figured they just ate bugs and such.

The Troll said...

We have a ton of those round here. They'll follow tractors around too.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks all.
I'm so late returning to this party, I'm doing a blankey thankey.

Crafty Green Poet said...

beautiful photos, I love to see egrets drifing through fields