The food of the cattle egret.

Published online
22 May 1972
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Siegfried, W. R.

Publication language
Africa South of Sahara & South Africa


Cattle egrets (Ardeola ibis) feeding in dairy pastures in the south-western Cape, South Africa, ate mainly grasshoppers, caterpillars and earthworms, though a wide range of other foods was taken. The most obvious seasonal change in diet was in earthworms which were about 60% by weight of the total food during the rainy season from April to October and were virtually absent at other times of the year. Diet of nestlings resembled that of the independent birds. Grasshoppers and caterpillars were the most important food items.

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