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Egrets
Cattle egret
Characteristics
Size

22 to 41 inches

Weight

.75 to 3.3 pounds

Lifespan

Up to 22 years in captivity

Habitat

Grassland
Marshland
Savanna

Diet

Carnivorous

Predators

Vultures

The bravest is the honey badger, hippo the strongest, cheetah the fastest, and the egret – egrets have sort of binocular vision which gives them depth perception which most birds who have eyes on either side of their head don’t, so Ono our egret is the keenest of sight.
Ford Riley[1]

Egrets are creatures that appear in The Lion King universe.

Information

In the Real World

Appearance

Egrets are small and long-legged birds with S-shaped necks.[2] While great egrets are taller and bear thin necks, cattle egrets are short, stocky, and thick-necked.[3] Most egrets, such as the little egret, have white plumes, though some sport darker feathers with bluish-gray plumage.[4] During breeding season, cattle egrets sport yellow plumes on their heads and necks.[3]

Behavior

Great egret

A great egret

Egrets nest in trees and form groups called colonies, which can include herons as well as egrets.[2] They are monogamous, and parents share the responsibility of incubating their three to four eggs and feeding via regurgitation once the chicks are hatched.[2][5] Young egrets are aggressive, and it is common for stronger chicks to kill their weaker siblings in the nest.[2] Egret chicks begin to climb out of the nest at 15 to 20 days, fly at 25 to 30 days, and leave the nest entirely at about 45 days.[5]

Egrets generally breed when they are two or three years old.[5] Males establish pairing territories and display there in order to attract mates, using tactics such as stretching their necks and raising their plumes while swaying from side to side.[5] Other tactics include making short flights with exaggeratedly deep flaps of their wings.[5]

Habitat

Unlike most heron species, egrets prefer drier habitats, such as fields and pastures.[3] They can be found on farms, highway edges, lawns, and roadsides, and nest in shrubs and trees with other egrets.[5] It is common to find egrets in aquatic habitats, such as flooded fields and marshes.[5] Great egrets typically live and feed near ponds, streams, tidal flats, and wetlands.[2]

Diet

Diet varies depending on the species of egret. Cattle egrets feed mostly on insects, including crickets, flies, and grasshoppers, though they will sometimes eat crayfish, earthworms, eggs, fish, nestling birds, or snakes.[5] They tend to stick close to grazing animals, who stir up insects and allow for easy hunting.[5] Cattle egrets have been known to follow lawnmowers or tractors for the same result.[5]

Great egrets are known to feed primarily on fish, but will eat amphibians, mice, reptiles, and smaller animals.[2] In order to catch their prey, they will stand still for long periods of time and deliver a deathblow with a quick thrust of the bill.[2] Prey is swallowed whole.[2]

Predators

Due to their impressive size, great egrets are not often attacked.[6] They typically roost in trees to avoid predators and warn one another of predators when they are near.[6] Though adult egrets are not often attacked, egret chicks are sometimes snatched from their nests by large birds and coyotes.[6]

In the Universe

In The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

Early in the film, Ono and his flock can be seen resting on the savanna. However, Bunga and Kion charge past, scattering them.

Not long after this, Kion is tasked with selecting animals to join the Lion Guard, and he goes to find Ono, who is hunting insects in a field. He offers Ono a job on the Guard as the keenest of sight, and Ono accepts. During the final battle, he helps the Lion Guard from above.

In The Lion Guard

In "Bunga the Wise"

An egret can be seen waiting in line to receive advice from Bunga the Wise.

In "Fuli's New Family"

Ono invites Fuli to eat with him, but Fuli is dismayed when she sees Ono's flock eating insects that elephants kick up.

In "Follow That Hippo!"

Egrets can be seen flying during "Hero Inside".

In "The Call of the Drongo"

As Kion surveys the Pride Lands, a flock of egrets flies past.

Notable Egrets


Name Information Format Appearances Picture

Video

BTO Bird ID - Cattle Egret04:13

BTO Bird ID - Cattle Egret

The cattle egret


References

  1. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 [2]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 [3]
  4. [4]
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 [5]
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 [6]

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