63. Cattle Egret

If birds were into sports, herons and egrets would probably be in the basketball team - their long legs and neck would give them a clear advantage! Ten species of herons have been recorded in Malta, and one of these is the Cattle Egret: a white bird with dark legs and a lovely yellow bill. The reference to cattle is because the bird often follows herds of cows (and antelopes, elephants, hippo, etc) to feed on insects and other small animals that the beasts disturb as they walk or wallow. The Cattle Egret (M: Agrett tal-Bhejjem) is mostly a bird of tropical and subtropical regions, and up to ten years ago was a rarity in Malta. In recent years, however, one or two are spotted almost every year - there was one at Għadira nature reserve just this week. Like all the other herons, the Cattle Egret is protected.

Text and photo Victor Falzon.

Copyright to Birdlife Malta.

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