Cattle Egret
(Bubulcus ibis)


Picture of bird
© Jukka Jantunen (
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Cattle Egret’s rapid colonization of North America between the 1950s-1970s extended to several locations in southern Canada, but confirmed breeding events have always been rare (Telfair 2006). Information from the Christmas Bird Count combined with the few breeding records in recent provincial Breeding Bird Atlases suggests a large decrease in the Canadian population.


Listing of the main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least Concern2014 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2010 

Population status

Geographic areaStatusReliability
CanadaLarge DecreaseMedium

Population estimate

Canada100 - 500 breeding birds

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation of world population

CanadaVery Low

Conservation and management

Given their strong association with agricultural landscapes and livestock, Cattle Egrets are directly affected by a range of human activities (Telfair 2006). Additionally, the availability of breeding habitat is limited by their preference for nesting in heronries that have been previously established by other species (Telfair 2006). Pesticides and other contaminants may affect survival and productivity, but their impact at the population-level is unknown (Telfair 2006).


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type