Cattle egrets

Posted on 22 November by Carl Vernon in Birds

Cattle egrets

The Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis is a bird whose status at Bonza Bay has changed over the last 40 years.   Formerly it was a winter visitor to the East London district and the nearest breeding colony was at Berlin to which the birds returned in the summer.     During the winter days the egrets foraged in the open areas and were mostly seen at Bonza Bay in the evenings  as they flew back to their roost along the Buffalo River.

 In 1983 and 1984, when the Qinira river mouth was closed and the reedbeds in the lagoon were flooded,  the egrets chose to roost there.   The picture of the roost was taken by Rob POLLOCK from John and Karen BREETZKE's house in Princess Drive.       After the Qinira opened again in January 1985, the egrets never roosted the sgsin.        

In the winters of last decade, the numbers of egrets visiting Bonza Bay has declined and they are now scarcely ever seen.

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