Holiday Ranch
Breeder of South Poll Grass Cattle

Cattle Birds Up North and Down South

Small gray cow birds from Iowa

When we talk about cattle birds in our herds, I realize that the birds are different depending on what latitude you are referring to.

Case in point.  My friends Julie and Bill Totemeier live in New London, Iowa.  Recently Julie sent me photos of cattle birds gorging on flies and bugs on their cattle herd.  These are little gray birds that actually light on the cattle to eat.



Cattle Egrets eat bugs the cattle stir up

Down here in Florida, our cattle birds are cattle egrets.  They are fairly large white egrets that share the pasture with the cattle.  They forage for bugs that the cattle stir up as they walk and graze.  Sometimes there are hundreds of these egrets present.  This year, however, there are not nearly as many egrets as in the past.



White Ibis, new to Holiday Ranch

In November of 2010 White Ibis arrived.  I have never seen these birds in previous years and assumed they were migrating and just happened to stop by Holiday Ranch to get a bite to eat on their journey.  They stayed all winter and this summer.  They do not necessarily forage in the same field as the cattle like the egrets do but they may be one field behind the cattle rotation.  I have seen where they have fished around in cow patties and presume they are eating our dung beetles.  They are beautiful large birds with black tips on the underside of their wings and dark pink curved bills with matching dark pink feet and legs.

We cherish all wildlife we have on the ranch and try to provide a good habitat for most all God’s creatures.


One Response to “Cattle Birds Up North and Down South”

  1. the ibis has been around Florida for a long long time I’m not certain why you wouldn’t have seen them sooner but I can’t remember a time when they didn’t pick the grubs out of my grass. looking at 8 of them right now.

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