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What do Cows and Egrets Have in Common?

Posted by Tni Newhoff on Friday, April 20th, 2007 at 9:40 pm
Position: 16.3070 by -61.7963 map

It is the strangest thing. I’d say that at least 60% of the cows that we saw in Guadaloupe had an egret friend standing next to it. I can’t quite figure it out. David thinks that perhaps the cow is unearthing some kind of food that the egret can share in, but I never witnessed the egret actually doing anything other than standing there. If you can answer this mystery let me know. In the meantime, I like to think that they are just keeping each other company.

One Response to “What do Cows and Egrets Have in Common?”

    According to the Oakland Zoo, David’s hypothesis is probably correct:
    (and I quote)
    Diet
    Feed on cryptic prey that are forced into showing themselves when flushed by grazing mammals. Grasshoppers are an important item in their food which also includes toads, tree-frogs, skinks, dragon flies, beetles, crickets, moths, termites and spiders. They are thought to feed on blood-sucking parasites of the larger hoofed mammals and are often seen riding on their backs, but it seems more likely that they are feeding on the insects stirred up. Cattle Egrets eat only a few ticks, and these are mainly engorged and recently dropped, rather than picked from the host. (end quote)

    Thinking of you as you approach the passage!

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