Cattle Egret(s) on MV

by Lanny McDowell on October 30, 2008

 A short saga began today with a call from an up-island birding friend:  “Do you wanna take some pictures of two Cattle Egrets?  They’re in with the horses.” 

“Sure, I’ll be up soon.”

I entered the farm looking for the horses and found a single egret with them.  No sign of the second.  I stalked the egret from behind a screen of colts.  It did not seem to be in any hurry to go anywhere.  When I quit firing off the camera the owner of the property showed up, squeezed through the split rails around the paddock and emerged back out holding the second egret.  We thought at first that it was starving, then realized one leg was dangling limp, never anywhere near a good sign.

My not-to-be-proven theory is that one of the horses, maybe a skittish colt, stepped on or kicked the hapless egret, interrupting what was already surely a challenging flight to warmer climes.


Tame bird?  Not really.  This is the second bird.  Had a badly broken leg, I am sorry to report.  Bad enough that Gus Ben David at the Vineyard’s World of Reptiles and Birds, an accomplished bird rehabilitator, said there there was nothing he could do.


Birds are cool!  Lanny

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