Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Bubulcus ibis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Species:B. ibis
Common Names:Cattle Egret
Status:Common winter visitor and passage migrant


This species is recorded throughout Singapore.

Locality Map

General Biology

The Cattle Egret frequents grasslands, fields, mangroves, marshes, ponds, and canals. It is rarely found on mudflats and rivers, unlike other egrets. In 2007 an egret was seen loitering by a hawker center waiting for food scraps leading to speculation that it may one day become an urban scavenger. Over in the state of Perak in Malaysia, up to 200 birds, most in breeding plumage, were seen in June 2011 scavenging in a rubbish dump at the outskirts of town.


Items of food include rat, frog, fish. lizards, small birds, insects and occasionally vegetation matter. 

These birds usually associate with cattle, water buffaloes as well as horses - as the movements of these animals will stir up insects hidden among the vegetation, allowing the egrets to pounce on them.


Wang, L. K., 2011. Egrets. Pp. 300. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L. K. & C. J. Hails, 2007. An annotated checklist of the birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179.

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