The Cattle Egret in the photo is in breeding plumage; outside of the breeding season they lose their golden feathers and are plain white with a dark bill. Distinguishing features include their small size, short bill and relatively uniformly coloured legs, which turn greyer outside the breeding season. Their preferred habitat is vegetation by water margins - they nest colonially in trees - and also wet and dry grassland; as the name implies they often associate with grazing animals such as cattle.
|Cattle Egret, ©RedTail_Panther, via Flickr Creative Commons.|
|Cattle Egret painting.|
Quite a quick one tonight, only half an hour as I also wanted to cram in some Yoga too. Haha only just realised how shonky that back leg is, oops!