Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Cattle Egret in Downtown Honolulu

I'm back from another long trip, this time across the Pacific Northwest, and Wi-Fi was hard to come by in the wilds we were exploring. But now I can continue our exploration of the birds of Hawai'i, and then move on to the Pacific Northwest species I was able to photograph during the last two weeks. Today's species is the Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) that I was able to shoot while strolling through a coastal park in downtown Honolulu.

The Cattle Egrets have an uncomfortable history with Hawai'i. They originated in Africa, spread to north and south America, and were introduced for pest control purposes in Hawai'i in 1959. They did their job, inhabiting pastures and fields, picking off flies and other biting pests. But as agriculture has decreased, and interest in preserving the native species increases, the Cattle Egrets have become a problem, as they compete for food resources, and pick off the eggs and chicks of native species on the islands, especially the Stilts and Coots.

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