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Figure 9.  The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is an abundant, widespread heron that occurs in both Africa and South America, as well as on all other continents.  It colonized Fernando de Noronha during the final years of the twentieth century, and has a large nesting colony on one of the islets. 

The Cattle Egret is the least aquatic of all members of the heron family and forages in a wide variety of habitats, from wetlands and pastures to semi-arid steppe (Martínez-Vilalta and Motis 1992).  It is often seen feeding in flocks and frequently associates with domestic cattle. 

The Cattle Egret's ability to cross water gaps and invade distant lands is legendary, well-illustrated by the fact that it has colonized many islands in the "Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and even turns up regularly in the Antarctic (Martínez-Vilalta and Motis 1992)."  Photograph taken on Fernando de Noronha by João Paulo Krajewski.

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