Eating Worms on Staten Island
A cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) landed in April 2017 on West 28th Street in Manhattan and spent several days eating bugs on the lawns of an apartment complex. That was the first cattle egret I ever saw, but fortunately not the last! In the spring of 2019, I was able to watch two more cattle egrets eat worms near the ballfields at Miller Field on Staten Island. These photos were all taken around 4 p.m. on April 30, 2019.
I though the music for the first cattle egret video I put up worked well, so I used the same music, the Bassoon Concerto in F Major by František Jiránek, performed by Robert Rønnes, for this very short video as well.
Dining in Manhattan, No Reservation Required
When the lone cattle egret visited the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, we wondered why the bird chose this particular block to spend some time (there are really good restaurants in Chelsea, I must say), but we were delighted by the visit. We suspect the egret dropped by during migration to fatten up a bit before continuing north.
The Filming the Feathers video is set to the Bassoon Concerto in F Major by František Jiránek, performed by Robert Rønnes.
We often see great egrets in various parts of the city, and snowy egrets occasionally, but this is the first cattle egret I've seen in Manhattan. The birds are not native to this hemisphere. They were unknown in North America until 1952, and came to South America from Africa in the 1870s and 1880s. Where most egrets feed in water, these birds thrive in dry fields, where they wait for cattle (or other animals) to flush out insects. I didn't see any cows anywhere near this cattle egret when I filmed the bird on April 11.