Photo of the Week: June 1-7, 2015
Photograph by Jody Merritt, of Beaufort.
Two cattle egrets near a freshwater pond in Carteret County on a late afternoon. The golden plumes on their head, chest and back emerge during the summer breeding season. The bird is named after its behavior of following in the footsteps of cattle to eat the insects stirred up from the ground.
An interesting fact about the cattle egret is that they’re originally from Africa. They found their way to North America in 1953 and quickly spread across the continent. Elsewhere in the world, it forages alongside camels, ostriches, rhinos, and tortoises—as well as farmers’ tractors, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.