January 26, 2014
All dressed up
We saw this one on a birding trip to Texas.
Cattle Egrets are native to Africa but somehow reached northeastern South America in 1877. They continued to spread, arriving in the United States in 1941 and nesting there by 1953. In the next 50 years they became one of the most abundant of the North American herons, showing up as far north as Alaska and Newfoundland.
The oldest Cattle Egret on record, originally banded in Maryland, was at least 17 years old when it was captured and released in Pennsylvania in 1979.