Cattle egrets are native to Africa and Asia, and only reached the Americas in the late 19th century. It was first found in northeastern South America in 1877, having probably arrived there from Africa. It reached the United States in 1941, and started nesting by 1953. In the next 50 years, it became one of the most abundant of the North American herons. It has occurred all the way to Alaska and Newfoundland, and has bred in nearly all states.
The cattle egret is an opportunistic feeder, and will follow large animals or machines to catch insects they stir up. It is also attracted by smoke from a large fire. The egrets will fly from long distances to catch insects trying to escape the fire.
Cattle egrets breed in colonies with other herons on islands, isolated woods, and swamps. They are also often found foraging in many habitats, such as ponds, cattle pasture, roadsides, farmland, dumps, parks, sports fields, and lawns.
DIETGrasshoppers, crickets, spiders, flies, frogs and moths
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