The Cattle Egret Expansion

10,000 Birds

When you think of invasives, you think of the birds that have been helped by human beings to get where they are, such as House Sparrow or European Starling. I’d like to introduce you to a diminutive heron, the Cattle Egret Bubuclus ibis. The Cattle Egret is native to Africa, where it is a familiar sight among herds of large mammals. Cattle Egret is more closely related to herons in the genus Ardea then the species termed egrets in the genus Egretta.

A Look at Humane Farming

Animal Ethics

In this film, we see farmers interacting with the animals they will eventually transform into food (chickens, pigs and cattle). Although the farmers can easily answer that their animals are treated more humanely whilst alive, their discomfort about being asked questions regarding the slaughter process is visually and audibly obvious. This is as humane as "humane farming" gets.

2010 75

Castellare di Castellina: Chianti Classico (2019)

10,000 Birds

Bologna La Grassa may revel in the indulgence of its Parma ham, lasagne, and rich, fatty ragùs, and Venice may boast the bounty of the sea, but the rugged, hilly homeland of the ancient Etruscans is undoubtedly cattle country.

2019 76

Birding Tiaozini again – sponsored by the local government …

10,000 Birds

The fields near the Tiaozini mudflats look very much like a lunar landscape, but this does not seem to keep a number of species from breeding there, sometimes directly on dirt roads. But now back to birds … Little Ringed Plovers also seem to like to breed directly on the road.

Nanhui, Shanghai in August

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret … though some of them seem to want to hide (which is really difficult for a white bird). Not sure if they are breeding but certainly they are trying, though I am not fully convinced of their competence. Another new breeding record for Shanghai .

2020 66

Birding Nanhui, Shanghai, in September 2021

10,000 Birds

Being a bit older myself now, I have to point out that young human males usually do not look that good, at least to me. Cattle Egrets have perfected that smudgy look. Got to cover the home front occasionally, even though it gets harder and harder.


What to Do at High Island When the Winds are South

10,000 Birds

I should have known that birding High Island meant I would be 20 minutes away from a place where hundreds of thousands of shorebirds and waterbirds rest, feed, breed, and generally have a good time. They did flush eventually, but not because of humans.

Shifting Baselines and Sneaky Jays

10,000 Birds

Unlike Barred Owls they were accompanied by no great controversy , and unlike Cattle Egrets or Eurasian Collared Doves they didn’t come as an abrupt continent-hopping surprise. They just crept west, bit by bit, in a patchwork that included expanded breeding range and wintering territory but not necessarily in the same places or involving the same populations. There’s a certain suburbanization of the natural as well as the human world.

2018 50

Saving the Drowning Cormorant, or the Kerkini Lake, Greece

10,000 Birds

The Kerkini Lake National Park is my favourite birding area in the whole of the Balkans and while I’ve been here in April and again (migration), September (migration), October (coffee break), December and January (wintering), this was my first time in the breeding season, in May. Below legal size for humans is still legal for pelicans. Five years ago, I observed Dalmatian Pelicans breeding on purpose-built platforms.

2019 65

An Affront to the Idea of Family

Animal Person

I'm not one of those people who thinks family is composed of only humans or humans who are biologically related. Their goal is to make a profit from the breeding and slaughter of animals. Just ask former cattle rancher Howard Lyman , who is now a vegan and animal rights activist. If someone owns me, forcibly breeds me, takes my kids and ends my life, it's a living hell for me.

2010 192

Africa’s endangered species

10,000 Birds

Image by Adam Riley Of the 115 African species now listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered, nearly half occur on the islands surrounding Africa or are non-breeding migrants to Africa. They are not necessarily the rarest species in Africa, in fact some of them still occur in large numbers, but their inclusion in the IUCN Red List is due to rapid population declines over the past 3 breeding generations of these species.

When conservation and animal rights collide

10,000 Birds

Animal rights is concerned with preventing the suffering or even use of animals by humans. But you can take solace in the results at the end of the breeding year, when loafing around the intertidal are a shiny new cohort of finely plumage grey youngsters, all ready to carry on Western Gull line into the future. To quote Wikipedia the effects it has on the body: In humans, the symptoms of poisoning normally appear between 30 minutes and three hours after exposure.

The Domestic Turkey and the First Thanksgiving

10,000 Birds

Thus, the cattle we raise for meat and dairy are sometimes called Bos taurus while the extinct wild form is always called Bos primigenius. The chance that this was a real Turkey are not great, and the chance that Columbus actually brought breeding stock from Honduras to Spain is not great, so maybe, maybe not. This is the time of year that we rightfully contemplate the noble Turkey.

Moral Vegetarianism, Part 4 of 13

Animal Ethics

Suppose someone enjoys drinking the blood of cattle and hogs. Suppose there was a breed of sheep that became very ill when the sheep’s fleece was removed; they did not function normally. Or suppose that by genetic engineering we could develop a milk-producing animal that became sick when it had the milk removed by members of other species, e.g., human beings. For an explanation of this feature, click on “Moral Vegetarianism” at the bottom of this post. What Is an Animal Part?

Forgotten Prairies

10,000 Birds

So barren in fact it is not uncommon to find this grassland species occupying the same habitat as cattle or areas with high degree of human disturbance. I feel blessed to live in Colorado where I can see these beauties in migration and breeding. Well, maybe not forgotten, but certainly over-looked.

2011 56

I and the Bird: What is a Vulture?

10,000 Birds

In the 70s, with the survival of the species in jeopardy, the entire wild population was captured and brought into a captive breeding program in southern California. Vultures, Human Evolution, and Windmills – Greg Laden, 10,000 Birds. That vultures get a bad rap is something of a given. There’s no getting around the fact that they’re weird looking.

2013 62

Animal Advocates' Successes Have Factory Farmers Running Scared

Animal Ethics

Consider some of the victories: On November 5th, 2002, more than two and a half million Floridians voted "Yes" on Amendment 10 to amend the state constitution and prohibit the use of gestation crates , narrow metal cages where breeding pigs are kept for most of their lives. September 7, 2006, a bill banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption( H.R. Calling an inhumane practice "humane" does not make that practice humane.

2007 40

A New Year Begins! But First–A Celebration of My 2018 Top Ten Birds

10,000 Birds

So, I was excited to read reports in late 2017 of a pair of Whooping Cranes being seen on a cattle farm. I easily spotted the Whooping Cranes in the cattle field. They were large and rather gawky, with a lot of ‘jewelry’ on their legs, oblivious to the cattle and to me. In September, Abigail Ruth, a small human, was born and I became a grandmother. Happy New Year, 10,000 Birds readers and writers, listers and photographers, friends and fellow travelers near and far!

2019 55

Birding while Holiday Shopping

10,000 Birds

Native species have also managed to make a living in the newly created urban jungle habitat, including Northern Mockingbird , Cattle Egret , Mourning Dove , and Fish Crow. In southeast Florida, it thrives in man-made habitats, feeding on grassy meridians, on roadsides, and even among human refuse. In the summer, Gray Kingbird breeds in significant numbers throughout the county with a pair defending territory in every strip mall.

Miami 46