The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a small heron which originally occurred in the tropics, subtropics, and warm temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and Africa. However, since the end of the 19th century the species colonized almost the rest of the world and therefore can be considered as cosmopolitan. Compared to other herons, the birds favor rather dry and open habitats. True to their name, they commonly follow cattle to prey on insects or small vertebrates disturbed by the movements of the larger animals. Additionally, they feed on ticks or other parasites and frequently can be seen standing on the backs of cows or buffaloes. The diurnal egrets are gregarious and breed in colonies – often in woodlands near swamps or lakes and together with other birds occurring in wetlands. I have seen Cattle Egrets many times during different journeys, mainly in Africa and Asia. The photographs in this post are from an encounter in Kachchh, western India, in January 2015.