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Documentation of Cattle Egret

Observer Information

Reporter:  Polly Neldner 
Other Observers:  none; Paul and Polly Wren Neldner

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Cattle Egret
First Date/Time:  4/21/2013
Last Date/Time:  4/21/2013
Duration (total time in view):  20 minutes
County:  Huerfano
Specific Location:  La Veta Town Lakes
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Pasture near lake. Some willows and cottonwoods in the area

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Swarovski 8.5X42, Swarovski 10X42. 500mm lens
Distance:  50 ft.
Light:  Nice clear morning. No haze, excellent morning light

Description of the Bird

White egret around 20" tall with long pale orange plumes, pale orange head and chest. Yellowish beak with yellow lores. Pale iris.
Behaviors: Bird was actively foraging for food. It would alternately pull it's head in very close to it's body and then stretch it's neck forward while stalking and foraging.

For what it is worth, the bird was in following a cow. While the Cattle Egret knew it's relationship to the cow, the cow did not recognize the it's relationship to the bird and kept trying to run it off.
Call: Bird was not calling
Plumage: Breeding

Similar Species Discussion

Pale orange plumes, crown and breast and size eliminated Great Egret. Pale orange plumes, crown and breast, and foot color eliminated Snow Egret.

Resources Used


Previous Experience

We have much experience with Cattle Egrets having seen them in Central and South America and in Kenya and Tanzania. We also saw one 9 years ago here in Huerfano County


Notes made DURING observation

Additional Information

Time: 8:54 a.m.
Elevation: 7000
Other Dates:
Nearest Town: La Veta
Independent Observers: Paul and Polly Wren Neldner

Date Documentation Submitted

4/21/2013 6:15:00 PM

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Location Map

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