Cattle Egret - Bubulcus ibis


Slightly smaller than the Little Egret. Cattle Egrets have yellow or greyish legs and a yellow beak, compared to the black legs (with yellow feet) and black beak of the Little Egret.

Identification difficulty

As their name suggests, Cattle Egrets tend to associate with livestock as the animals' hooves disturb invertebrate prey. Most likely to be seen in the south of England and Wales.

When to see it

Could be seen at any time of year, though birds congregate in flocks during winter.

Life History

First pair to breed successfully in Britain was in 2008.

UK Status

Much rarer than the Little Egret, Cattle Egrets are visiting the UK in increasing numbers.

VC55 Status

Still rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. Previous record was of one at Rutland Water from 3rd to 15th April 1993

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map