Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #
Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
2014 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 355,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 349,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2012
Population trend Increasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 8.1 - - -

Population justification: The population is estimated to number 4,000,000-9,850,000 individuals. The European population is estimated at 76,100-92,300 pairs, which equates to 152,000-185,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). The population is therefore placed in the band 4,000,000-9,999,999 individuals.

Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations may be stable, decreasing or have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007) Note, however, that these surveys cover less than 50% of the species's range in North America. The European population is estimated to be decreasing by less than 25% in 24.3 years (three generations) (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan U Extant
Albania V Extant
Algeria N Extant
Angola N Extant
Anguilla (to UK) N Extant
Antarctica V Extant
Antigua and Barbuda N Extant
Argentina N Extant
Armenia N Extant Yes
Aruba (to Netherlands) N Extant
Australia N Extant Yes
Austria V Extant
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bahamas N Extant
Bahrain N Extant Yes Yes
Bangladesh N Extant
Barbados N Extant
Belarus V Extant
Belgium V Extant
Belize N Extant Yes
Benin N Extant
Bermuda (to UK) N Extant
Bhutan N Extant
Bolivia N Extant
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) N Extant
Bosnia and Herzegovina V Extant
Botswana N Extant
Brazil N Extant
British Indian Ocean Territory I Extant Yes
Brunei N Extant
Bulgaria V Extinct Yes
Burkina Faso N Extant
Burundi N Extant
Cambodia N Extant
Cameroon N Extant
Canada N Extant Yes
Cape Verde N Extant
Cayman Islands (to UK) N Extant
Central African Republic N Extant
Chad N Extant
Chile N Extant
China (mainland) N Extant
Christmas Island (to Australia) V Extant
Cocos (Keeling) Islands (to Australia) N Extant
Colombia N Extant
Comoros N Extant
Congo N Extant
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant
Costa Rica N Extant Yes
Côte d'Ivoire N Extant
Croatia V Extant
Cuba N Extant
Curaçao (to Netherlands) N Extant
Cyprus N Extant Yes
Czechia V Extant
Denmark V Extant
Djibouti N Extant
Dominica N Extant
Dominican Republic N Extant
Ecuador N Extant
Egypt N Extant
El Salvador N Extant
Equatorial Guinea N Extant
Eritrea N Extant
Eswatini N Extant
Ethiopia N Extant
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) N Extant
Finland V Extant
France N Extant Yes Yes
French Guiana N Extant
Gabon N Extant
Gambia N Extant
Georgia N Extant
Germany V Extant
Ghana N Extant
Gibraltar (to UK) N Extant Yes
Greece N Extant Yes Yes
Grenada N Extant Yes
Guadeloupe (to France) N Extant
Guam (to USA) N Extant Yes
Guatemala N Extant
Guinea N Extant
Guinea-Bissau N Extant
Guyana N Extant
Haiti N Extant
Honduras N Extant
Hong Kong (China) N Extant Yes
Hungary V Extant
Iceland V Extant
India N Extant
Indonesia N Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes
Ireland V Extant
Israel N Extant Yes
Italy N Extant Yes
Jamaica I Extant Yes
Japan N Extant
Jordan N Extant Yes Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant
Kuwait N Extant Yes
Laos N Extant
Latvia V Extant
Lebanon N Extant Yes
Lesotho N Extant
Liberia N Extant
Libya N Extant
Liechtenstein V Extant
Lithuania V Extant
Luxembourg V Extant Yes
Macao (China) N Extant
Madagascar N Extant
Malawi N Extant
Malaysia N Extant
Maldives N Extant Yes
Mali N Extant Yes
Malta V Extant
Marshall Islands N Extant Yes
Martinique (to France) N Extant
Mauritania N Extant
Mauritius N Extant
Mayotte (to France) N Extant
Mexico N Extant
Micronesia, Federated States of N Extant Yes
Montenegro N Extant Yes
Montserrat (to UK) N Extant
Morocco N Extant
Mozambique N Extant
Myanmar N Extant
Namibia N Extant
Nepal N Extant
Netherlands N Extant Yes
New Caledonia (to France) V Extant
New Zealand N Extant
Nicaragua N Extant
Niger N Extant
Nigeria N Extant
Norfolk Island (to Australia) V Extant
North Korea N Extant Yes
North Macedonia V Extant
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes
Norway V Extant
Oman N Extant Yes
Pakistan N Extant
Palau N Extant Yes
Palestine N Extant Yes
Panama N Extant
Papua New Guinea N Extant
Paraguay N Extant
Peru N Extant
Philippines N Extant
Poland V Extant
Portugal N Extant Yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) N Extant Yes
Qatar N Extant Yes
Réunion (to France) N Extant
Romania N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) V Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Rwanda N Extant
São Tomé e Príncipe N Extant
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes Yes
Senegal N Extant
Serbia N Extant Yes
Seychelles N Extant
Sierra Leone N Extant
Singapore N Extant
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) N Extant
Slovenia V Extant
Somalia N Extant
South Africa N Extant
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands N Extant
South Korea N Extant
South Sudan N Extant Yes Yes
Spain N Extant Yes Yes
Sri Lanka N Extant
St Barthelemy (to France) N Extant
St Helena (to UK) N Extant
St Kitts and Nevis N Extant
St Lucia N Extant
St Martin (to France) N Extant
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) V Extant Yes
St Vincent and the Grenadines N Extant
Sudan N Extant
Suriname N Extant
Sweden V Extant
Switzerland V Extant
Syria N Extant Yes Yes
Taiwan, China N Extant
Tajikistan V Extant
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Thailand N Extant
Timor-Leste N Extant Yes
Togo N Extant
Trinidad and Tobago N Extant
Tunisia N Extant
Turkey N Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) N Extant
Uganda N Extant
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes Yes
United Kingdom V Extant
United States Minor Outlying Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes
Uruguay N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes
Uzbekistan V Extant
Venezuela N Extant
Vietnam N Extant
Virgin Islands (to UK) N Extant Yes
Virgin Islands (to USA) N Extant Yes
Western Sahara N Extant
Yemen N Extant Yes Yes
Zambia N Extant
Zimbabwe N Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Azerbaijan Gizilagach State Reserve
Azerbaijan Lake Mahmudchala
Azerbaijan Lake Sarysu
Azerbaijan Varvara Reservoir
Cyprus Akhna dam
Cyprus Phasouri reedbeds
Portugal Leixão da Gaivota
Portugal Murta dam
Portugal Paul do Boquilobo
Jordan Northern Jordan Valley (North Ghor)
Greece Axios, Loudias and Aliakmonas rivers' deltas
Greece Nisyros island and surrounding islets
Greece Dionysades islets, Crete
Greece Lake Kerkini
Spain La Janda
Spain Tajo de Barbate coastal cliffs
Spain Medina-Sidonia
Spain Bornos reservoir
Spain Albufera de Valencia marshes
Spain Ebro delta
Spain Medas islands
Spain Valuengo reservoir
Spain Villanueva del Fresno
Spain Valongo
Spain Mérida-Montijo reservoir
Spain Malpartida de Cáceres-Arroyo de la Luz
Spain Trujillo-Torrecillas de la Tiesa
Spain Pela mountain range-Orellana reservoir-Zorita
Spain Campo Arañuelo-Valdecañas reservoir
Spain Borbollón reservoir
Spain Azután reservoir
Spain Pego-Oliva marshes
Spain Llobregat delta
Spain Valdehornillos-Santa Amalia
Spain Albufera de Mallorca and Albufereta de Pollença marshes
Spain Ravines and pinewoods in central Minorca
Spain Cogul-Alfés steppes
Spain Cortados del Jarama
Spain Redbeeds and copses of Aranjuez
Spain Littoral islets of Murcia and Almería
Spain Castronuño-Zamora
Spain Middle section of river Guadalquivir reservoirs
Spain Mouth of the river Guadalhorce
Spain Isla Cristina and Ayamonte marshes and Prado lagoon
Spain Guadalquivir marshes
Spain Ceuta
Spain River Ebro ox-bow lakes
Spain Ampurdán marshes
Spain Cinca river rice fields and steppe area
Spain Sariñena lake and La Estación pond
Spain San Pedro mountain range
Spain Lácara-Morante
Spain La Serena
Spain River Mijares mouth
Spain Almenara marshes
Spain Córdoba countryside
Spain Malpica island (River Tagus)
Spain Rivers Cinca and Alcanadre riverine forest
Spain Plasencia and San Bernabé mountain range
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin
France Barrage d'Artix et Saligue du Gave de Pau
France Garonne : marais de Bordeaux
France Estuaire de la Gironde : marais du Blayais
France Brenne centrale
France Etang de Biguglia
France Etangs de Leucate et Lapalme
France Etangs Narbonnais
France Etangs Montpellierains
France Etangs de Vendres, Pissevache et Lespignan
France Etangs de Canet et de Villeneuve-de-la-Raho et embouchure du Tech
France Petite Camargue fluvio-lacustre
France Petite Camargue laguno-marine
France Camargue
France Marais entre Crau et Grand Rhône: Meyranne, Chanoine, Plan de Bourg et Salins du Caban
France Salins d'Hyères et de Pesquiers
France Etangs de Citis, Lavalduc, Engrenier, Pourra, l'Estomac, Fos et salines de Rassuen et de Fos
France Basse vallée du Var
France Ile d'Oléron, marais de Brouage-Saint-Agnant
France Estuaire de la Loire
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon
France La Dombes
France Val de Drôme: Les Ramières-printegarde
France Plaine du Forez
France Marais et estuaire de la Seudre
France Lac de Grand-Lieu
France Barthes de l'Adour
Italy Punte Alberete and Valle della Canna, Pineta San Vitale and Pialassa della Baiona
Italy Oristano wetlands
Armenia Armash fish-farm
Germany Wagbach lowlands
Cameroon Logone flood-plain
Algeria Bou Redim
Guinea-Bissau Arquipélago dos Bijagós
Kenya Tana River Delta
Morocco Sebkha Bou Areg
Mali Lac Débo - Lac Oualado Débo
Mali Timisobo - Képagou
Mali Koumbé Niasso
Mali Kouakourou
Niger Tchérassa reservoir
South Sudan Sudd (Bahr-el-Jebel system)
Tanzania Wembere steppe
Zambia Barotse Floodplains
Zambia Kafue Flats
Zambia Bangweulu Swamps
Turkey Ekşisu Marshes
Israel Northern lower Jordan valley
Israel Judean foothills
Israel Zevulun valley
Israel Carmel coast
Israel Jezre'el, Harod and Bet She'an valleys
Israel Hefer valley
Iran, Islamic Republic of Anzali Mordab complex
Iran, Islamic Republic of Seyed Mohalli, Zarin Kola and Larim Sara
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay
Iran, Islamic Republic of Horeh Bamdej
Jordan Jordan Valley
Saudi Arabia Umm al-Qamari
Saudi Arabia Malaki dam
Yemen Al-Murah
Yemen Ta'izz wadis
Yemen Al-Kadan area
Zambia Mweru Wantipa National Park
Philippines Manila Bay
Indonesia Dataran Banjir Ogan Komering
Indonesia Pulau Dua
Jamaica Yallahs
Jamaica Hyde Hall Mountain
Jamaica Rose Hall
Azerbaijan Aggyol
Russia (European) Kalininski Plavny
Puerto Rico (to USA) Vaqueria
Portugal Paul do Taipal
France Domaine d'Orx
France Estuaire de la Bidassoa et Baie de Fontarabie
France Estuaire de la Gironde : marais du Nord Médoc
France Baie des Veys et Marais du Cotentin
France Baie de Saint-Brieuc
France Marais de la Baie d'Audierne
France Baie de Vilaine
France Mars sur Allier
France Etang d'Urbino et zones humides périphériques
France Estuaire et embouchure de la Seine
France Etang du Bagnas
France Vallée de la Garonne : Moissac
France Cap Gris-nez
France Salines de l'Etang de Berre
France Basse Vallée de la Durance
France Vallée de la Durance : de Tallard à Sisteron
France Vallée de la Charente : amont d'Angoulême
France Anse de Fouras, baie d'Yves et marais de Rochefort
France Anse du Fiers d'Ars en Ré
France Estuaires picards : baies de Somme et d'Authie
France Traicts et marais salants de la Presqu'île Guérandaise
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton
France Vallée de la Loire : de Nantes à Montsoreau
France Val de Saône
France Val d'Allier : Saint-Yorre-Joze
France Pointe de Grave
France Marais de Manteyer
France Estuaire de la Charente
France Val d'Allier Bourbonnais
France Iles Cerbicale
France Vallée de la Garonne : Boussens à Carbonne
France Vallée de la Garonne : Palayre et environs
Cuba Humedal Sur de Pinar del Río
Cuba Humedal Sur de Sancti Spiritus
Cuba Delta del Cauto
Bahamas Great Inagua
Bahamas Harrold and Wilson Ponds National Park
Bahamas Grog Pond
Canada Greater Rondeau Area
Canada Eyebrow Lake
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bandar Kiashar lagoon and mouth of Sefid Rud
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lashgarak and Latian dam
Iran, Islamic Republic of Dez river marshes and plains
Iran, Islamic Republic of Karun river marshes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Shadegan marshes and tidal mudflats of Khor-al Amaya and Khor Musa
Oman Quriyat - Daghmar
Saudi Arabia Al-Ha'ir
Saudi Arabia Madinat Yanbu al-Sinaiyah
Saudi Arabia Wadi Rabigh springs
Saudi Arabia Wadi Jawwah
United Arab Emirates Ramtha lagoons
Yemen Mafraq al-Mukha
St Vincent and the Grenadines Ashton Wetland
St Vincent and the Grenadines Mustique Island
Bahamas Stafford Creek to Andros Town
Bahamas Driggs Hill to Mars Bay
Nicaragua Juan Venado Island
Argentina Reserva de Uso Múltiple Bañados del Río Dulce y Laguna Mar Chiquita
Nicaragua Bluefields Bay and adjacent landscape
Nicaragua Mombacho Volcano
Nicaragua Bosawas
Antigua and Barbuda McKinnons Salt Pond
Antigua and Barbuda Valley Church Bay
Antigua and Barbuda Potworks Dam
Antigua and Barbuda Bethesda Dam
Cuba Las Picuas - Del Cristo Cay
Nicaragua Solentiname Archipielago
Puerto Rico (to USA) El Yunque
Paraguay Parque Nacional Tinfunqué - Estero Patiño
St Lucia Pitons (Qualibou and Canaries)
St Lucia Point Sables
St Lucia Iyanola and Grande Anses, Esperance and Fond D'ors
St Lucia Mandelé Protected Landscape
Virgin Islands (to USA) Great Pond
Virgin Islands (to USA) Southgate and Green Cay
Anguilla (to UK) Cove Pond
Italy Vercelli rice-fields
Italy River Sesia heronries
Virgin Islands (to USA) John Brewer's Bay
Jamaica Black River Great Morass
Trinidad and Tobago Caroni Swamp
Mexico Pantanos de Centla
Niger Diffa-Kinzindi grassland and wetlands
Guyana South Central Rupununi
Guyana North Rupununi - Karanambu Ranch
Côte d'Ivoire Monogaga Classified Forest
Côte d'Ivoire Dassioko Classified Forest
Jamaica Font Hill
Spain Jerez de los Caballeros dehesas
Spain Olivenza-La Albuera
Spain Vegas del Alagón
Jordan Maghtas - Sweimeh
Ethiopia Lake Abe wetland system
Greece Kalamas delta
Philippines Zambales mountains
Mauritania Lac de Mâl
Mauritania Lac d'Aleg
Philippines Buguey wetlands
Philippines Agusan marsh
Colombia El Encanto de Guanapalo
Senegal Niayes (from Dakar to St Louis)
Senegal Joal-Fadiouth
Senegal Delta du Saloum
Senegal Parc National de Basse Casamance
Ecuador Ciénaga de La Segua
Albania Narta Lagoon
Albania Karavasta Lagoon
Colombia Paramillo Natural National Park
Colombia Laguna de la Cocha
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural Amacayacu
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural Chiribiquete
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural Cueva de los Guácharos
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural Las Orquídeas
Colombia Bojonawi
Albania Vlora Bay, Karaburun Peninsula and Cika mountain
Albania Velipoja
Colombia Hato El Sinai

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland major breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland suitable passage
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) major non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 4080 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Other household goods - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Bubulcus ibis. Downloaded from on 29/03/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/03/2023.