What species of crane is this?



Today afternoon, I found this crane among a group of white cranes that were moving around a herd of buffaloes. I live in West Bengal, India if it matters.

Is it an eastern cattle egret,Bubulcus ibis coromandus in breeding plumage?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Some of the photos appearing in the avibase page for Cattle egret look really similar, for instance flickr.com/photos/33816646@N06/5834155140. $\endgroup$
    – bli
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 11:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It does. I found a page of Avibase about Bubulcus ibis coromandus with similar photographs. $\endgroup$
    – Tyto alba
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 12:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, It is for sure a cattle egret. $\endgroup$
    – have fun
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is a cattle egret displaying its breeding plumage.

The cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a cosmopolitan species of heron (family Ardeidae) found in the tropics, subtropics and warm temperate zones.

Specifically, this is the eastern subspecies, B. ibis coromandus.

eastern cattle egret

B. ibis coromandus [source: Wikimedia Commons]

Cattle egret -- http://pick4.pick.uga.edu/mp/20p?see=I_LHT5563&res=640

B. ibis ibis © Larry Thompson, 2007-2015

The cattle egret is the only member of the monotypic genus Bubulcus, although some authorities regard two of its subspecies as full species, the western cattle egret and the eastern cattle egret.

  • The eastern subspecies B. ibis coromandus, described by Pieter Boddaert in 1783, breeds in Asia and Australasia, and the western subspecies (B. ibis ibis) occupies the rest of the species range, including the Americas.

  • The eastern subspecies (B. ibis coromandus) differs from the nominate subspecies in breeding plumage in that the buff color on its head extends to the cheeks and throat, and the plumes are more golden in color.

B. ibis usually feeds in seasonally inundated grasslands, pastures, farmlands, wetlands and rice paddies. Their name comes from their tendency to often accompany cattle or other large mammals in these areas, where they catch insects attracted to and small vertebrates disturbed by these animals.

Originally native to parts of Asia, Africa and Europe, B. ibis has undergone a rapid expansion in its distribution and successfully colonized much of the rest of the world in the last century.

cattle egret range

[Source: Discover Life]

Major Source: Wikipedia


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