Cattle Egret (Puff-backed Heron) (Bubulcus ibis)
A large, worldwide family of long-legged wading birds. Herons have long necks and long straight, spear-like bills used for striking at fish, small vertebrates, and invertebrate prey. Several species exhibit long, fine, erectile plumes during the breeding season. Nests are generally large twig platforms built in trees.
Most of the 22 species occurring in the Greater Sundas are fairly distinctive, but care must be taken to separate the white egrets.
Description: Smallish (50 cm) white heron. Breeding: white with head, neck, and breast washed orange; iris, bill, legs, and lores briefly bright red. Non-breeding: white except for an orange wash on forehead of some birds. Distinguished from other egrets by stockier shape with shorter neck, rounder head, and thicker, shorter bill.
Iris - yellow; Bill - yellow; Feet - black.
Voice: Silent apart from croaks at nesting colonies.
Distribution and status: Common winter visitor to Borneo but not known to breed. A common bird of freshwater swamps and grassland.
Habits: Associates with grazing cattle, water buffalos, and wild banteng, catching the flies attracted or disturbed by these animals as they walk through the grass. Small flocks fly in formation low over water courses each evening to communal roosting sites. Nests in colonies over water.